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Earth Hour - What Is it?

Posted by Julian Torres, "JT" on Mar 20, 2023 10:11:36 AM

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While the month of March ushers in the start of spring, it also hosts Earth Hour on the last Saturday of the month. Because Earth Hour as a concept remains somewhat young and unknown, we’d like to answer some of your frequently asked questions about what it is, how it works, and what it’s intended to do.

What Exactly Is Earth Hour?

On March 25, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) encourages everyone who can to switch off all nonessential electric lights for one hour as a symbolic commitment to the planet’s health.

One hour without power?

Between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., to be precise.

So the WWF wants me to go without power for an hour? What’s the deal?

The WWF started this practice back in 2007 and have since made it an annual event. Officially, they’re just encouraging everyone to go without nonessential electronic devices, which generally means your phone, television, computer, tablet, or maybe any houselights that don’t need to be on. They have no way of enforcing that request, though, so you don’t have to worry about angry environmentalists with grizzly bears on leashes showing up on your doorstep on March 25 if you’re watching television.

So I don’t have to unplug my refrigerator?

Nope. That would qualify as an essential device. So would the air conditioner or heater, washing machine, or any other electric device that cannot be unplugged for any reason.

I don’t understand the point of all this.

Earth Hour operates on the same principle as Arbor Day. It’s not a call to arms to stop using fossil fuels and electricity so much as a way of raising awareness of our dependency on all these devices and the steps we all have to take to preserve the planet if we want to continue using these devices.

So this isn’t really about balancing out our fossil fuel usage?

That can be a way of interpreting it, but ultimately it’s more about raising awareness than a call for radical change.

I was going to say as much. Going without power for an hour doesn’t seem like it would do much to heal the planet.

True, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the fact about how we impact the planet on a daily basis and how those impacts could become harmful to everyone we know. Not participating in Earth Hour because it won’t do much good can be a bit like not planting a tree on Arbor Day and claiming one new tree won’t make a difference.

I wasn’t planning on being home that day.

Well, then you’re passively observing Earth Hour. Well done, you.

Earth Hour 2023

At its core, Earth Hour works to raise awareness and inspire education about energy usage. Anyone interested about learning more about the observance can check with the WWF. And if you can go without electronic devices on a (hopefully) beautiful Saturday in March, do your best to make that happen.

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