The problem of climate change has always seemed to sound like a daunting challenge. When one hears about climate change and its disastrous consequences on the planet, people tend to believe in its inevitability, thinking that the problem is too tremendous and unstoppable, leaving us all hopeless as we face its imminent effects. What we don’t realize is the power one person has in contributing on a solution for climate change. With just one click of a light switch, you can help raise awareness and at the same time discover just how much one household can do in helping lower the world’s energy consumption. This is the impact that the Earth Hour hopes to achieve on a world-wide scale, it being the largest annual environmental event the world has seen in history.
Earth Hour is a global awareness campaign initiated by the World Wildlife Fund that aims to encourage businesses, establishments, and households to turn off their lights for one hour a year in unison. This action is hoped to establish awareness on the growing problem of climate change and the urgent necessity to take action on it. The campaign had first started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, as approximately 2.2 million of its residents turned off their lights for one hour in the evening. Following the success that the Earth Hour sustained in Sydney since 2007, the rest of the world started to show support for the campaign as well. To note, the event that took place in 2012 occurred on March 31, from 8:30-9:30 in the evening, with the slogan, “I will if you will.” In this year alone, over 7,000 cities and villages in 152 countries participated in the campaign, switching off their lights for the event, and sending a powerful message for action against climate change.
It is interesting to note that just in a span of one hour, electricity consumption greatly reduced in Sydney alone by approximately 10.2%. Several other cities in the world as well, such as Bangkok, Manila, Christchurch, Toronto, and Dubai, experienced a dip in the energy consumption during their own respective runs of the campaign. The impact this has for every country on a global scale can therefore be imagined, what more if countries really did come together to participate in larger scale efforts to curb climate change on a more sustainable level.
Of course, the success of the campaign did not rely solely on the number of people who followed the one-hour blackout. The Earth Hour campaign over the years has made use of popular social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google Plus, to engage the virtual community into going beyond the united front of the hour and taking up more efforts for sustainable solutions to climate change. Since its success in 2007 to capture world-wide attention, the campaign has moved from aiming for surface-level awareness towards getting people to question the status quo of the environment. Now, their goal has been towards giving the initial push—the justification—behind why society must now act towards solving climate change, which is ultimately the very reason why this campaign even came to be.