BigBen

On Saturday March 29 at 8:30 p.m. local time (wherever you were), over 7,000 cities around the world came together to switch off all their lights for one hour. Why, you might ask? Well because of Earth Hour, of course. Didn’t you know that at this time every year, this single largest mass participation event, mobilizes people to take action on climate change by switching their lights off for one hour?

How about a bit of history?

Earth Hour was famously started in Sydney, Australia back in 2007 by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Today, this movement has expanded to over 152 countries. Each year individuals, communities, households and businesses are encouraged to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, as a mass show of concern for the environment. Last year, Australia kicked off the event with over two million individuals and 2,000 businesses turning off their lights. This was followed by Uganda’s launch of the world’s first Earth Hour’s forest – in an aid to fight the 6,000 hectares of deforestation occurring in the country every month. Individuals, businesses and government officials took up the challenge to fill an area of degraded land with over 500,000 trees, over the course of the year. Elsewhere, Columbia broke its own records of participation, with more than 20 million users being reached on social media with the hashtag #unahorapara – translating to ‘one hour’.

This event continues to be the key driver of what is now a large global movement to protect the planet.

So what this year?

Of course the initiative continued with full force in 2014, as not only did over 36 million people show their support, but even Spider-Man himself – Earth Hours’ very first superhero ambassador – was onsite at the first kick-off event in Singapore. While this is of course all in good jest, it is still undeniably an example of a successfully executed global campaign, implemented in a diverse range of markets, while retaining its most critical message: our planet is in dire need of attention, to ensure that not only do we limit our carbon footprint, but we also help our wildlife friends live long and happy lives in the process.

And how will AXON be doing their bit?

To show our support, AXON London colleagues not only switched off their lights on Saturday but also pledged to do more – beyond the 60-minute event – on a day-to-day basis to reduce the use of non-essential lights or energy, in an effort to make that little bit of difference go a long way for future generations.

So while you’re sitting at home or in the office, remember that by simply turning off lights or unplugging electrical items that you don’t need, you are participating in one of the biggest global environmental movements of the year, and best of all you are a superhero while doing it!

Come on, what’s your pledge going to be this year?

Sheniz Yusuf

References

1.   Earth Hour. Available at: http://www.earthhour.org/. Last Accessed April 2014.