Astronauts in the International Space Station may notice the Earth seems a little dimmer on 26 March 2022. Some might hope they see a complete blackout.
This Saturday evening marks the annual Earth Hour. Millions of people will turn off their lights at 8.30pm local time, to draw attention to climate change, food waste and many more environmental issues.
The Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House are among more than 18,000 iconic buildings across the world that will take part in Earth Hour, turning city skylines dark to raise awareness of the climate emergency.
How can I take part?
There are several ways to support Earth Hour this year. At home, you can switch off your lights for the hour, with some suggestions on how to spend those 60 minutes here. There might be an event taking place near you that you could attend. Browse the Earth Hour events here.
People are also being encouraged to share what they’re doing to protect nature and #ShapeOurFuture. If you need inspiration, there are some incredible stories from individuals all over the world.
However you choose to spend Earth Hour, the goal is to increase awareness and spark global conversations on protecting nature, tackling the climate crisis, and working together to shape a brighter future for us all.
What has Earth Hour achieved?
Since the first Earth Hour was held in 2007, the event has taken the climate emergency conversation from conferences to mainstream thinking. To list just a few of its achievements, Earth Hour has:
Created a 3.5 million hectare marine-protected area in Argentina.
Established a 2,700-hectare protected forest in Uganda.
Helped pass new legislation for the protection of seas and forests in Russia.
Initiated the planting of 20,000 mangrove seedlings in 13 cities in Indonesia.
Last year, while still facing Covid-19 restrictions in many countries, people in a record-breaking 192 countries and territories came together to speak up for nature. The first-ever Earth Hour Virtual Spotlight highlighted the connection between nature loss, climate change and the rise of pandemics, and was shared over 24,000 times on social media.
Why should I switch off my lights?
With Earth Hour in mind, at Energy Saving Trust we are encouraging people to put their daily home and business lighting use under the spotlight.
The typical UK household has around 33 light bulbs, accounting for around 15% of your electricity bill. By using effective lighting controls (switching off unused lights) and energy efficient lighting (LEDs), lighting could drop to around 4-6% of the UK’s total electricity use.
The quickest way to start saving is just remembering to turn lights off when you don’t need them. If you switch a light off when you leave the room, you will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up. You’ll also save around £20 a year on your energy bills.
Change to LED bulbs
You can save between £1 and £4 per year for every traditional or halogen bulb you switch to an LED bulb with similar brightness. So, if the average household replaced all bulbs with LEDs, it would cost around £145 and save around £40 a year on bills.
Make them last longer
LEDs are versatile lighting options that lead the way in efficiency and durability. While a traditional halogen bulb lasts around two years, or approximately 2,000 hours, an LED under typical use can last for 15-20 years.
See if you can make a difference by switching off your lights this Earth Hour to raise awareness of the urgent need to address the climate emergency.