1. What is Earth Hour?
Earth Hour is a global grass-roots movement encouraging individuals, businesses
and governments around the world to take positive actions for the environment, and
celebrating their commitment to the planet by switching off their lights for one
designated hour. It is a platform encouraging entities to join an interconnected
global community engaged in dialogue and resource sharing that generates real solutions
to environmental challenges.
2. When does Earth Hour take place?
Earth Hour is celebrated on the last Saturday of March every year since 2007. The
last weekend of March is around the time of the Spring and Autumn equinoxes in the
northern and southern hemispheres respectively, which allows for near coincidental
sunset times in both hemispheres, thereby ensuring the greatest visual impact for
a global lights out campaign.
Earth Hour 2013 will be held on Saturday March 23rd between 8.30PM and 9.30PM.
3. Who can participate?
Anyone and Everyone!
Anyone who wants to unite with the global community in a worldwide celebration of
the planet; anyone who believes a solution to our environmental challenges is possible
through the aggregate of our actions.
4. What does the Earth Hour logo mean?
The standard Earth Hour '60' logo represents the 60 minutes of Earth Hour where
we focus on the impact we are having on our planet and take positive action to address
the environmental issues we face. For Earth Hour 2011 the ‘60+’ logo was introduced
representing a commitment to add to Earth Hour a positive act for the planet that
goes beyond the hour.
5. What does Earth Hour ask people to do?
Earth Hour's call to action is to switch off lights for one hour in support of our
planet. This act symbolizes the commitment of an individual to move towards a low
carbon intensive lifestyle, thereby reducing the effects of Climate Change. By switching
off your lights for Earth Hour you are acknowledging and celebrating your commitment
to do something more for the planet that goes beyond the hour.
Earth Hour encourages individuals, businesses and governments to show leadership
on environmental solutions through their actions. It encourages them to use Earth
Hour as a platform and showcase to the world what measures they are taking to reduce
their environmental impact.
Earth Hour asks everyone to take personal accountability for their impact on the
planet and make behavioral changes to facilitate a sustainable lifestyle.
6. Does this mean during Earth Hour I have to turn off everything in my home
and use absolutely no electricity?
Earth Hour only asks you to turn off non-essential lights for that one hour. This
translates to saying save the energy you do not need at that time, and consume only
what you must. Every human activity has an impact on the environment, while this
can never be brought to zero, it can definitely be minimized if we are mindful of
our consumption. Earth Hour asks you to do just that. Earth Hour shows that a solution
to the world’s environmental challenges is possible if we work on them together.
7. How long has Earth Hour been going for, globally?
Earth Hour was first launched as a city event in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, where
more than 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turn their lights
off in support.
In the short space of four years, Earth Hour has grown to become the greatest environmental
action in history with more than 1.8 billion individuals across 130 countries and
5251 cities switching off lights.
8. When did India join the movement?
India observed its first Earth Hour in 2009, with 56 cities switching off. In the
next year, participation increased by 40%, with 6 million Indian across 128 cities
observing lights out. In 2012, Earth Hour reached out to a record breaking 150 Indian
Recognizing the success and impact of the campaign, Earth Hour was nominated for
NDTV Greenies Awards 2010. It also bagged the ‘WOW Paradigm of the Year’
award for the best social campaign.
9. Isn't switching the lights off dangerous? What about public safety?
Earth Hour only asks people to turn off the non-essential lights for one hour -
not lights that affect public safety. Earth Hour is also a celebration of the planet
so it’s important to enjoy the moment in a safe environment.
10. What lights can be safely switched off?
That is a decision that has to be made individually but usually the overhead lights
in rooms (whether it is your house or a business), outdoor lighting that does not
impact safety, computers, decorative lights, neon signs for advertising, televisions,
desk lamps, the list goes on.
There are a few lights we can say with certainty that should NOT be turned off,
including safety lights in public spaces, lights for aviation guidance, traffic
lights, security lights, headlights while driving, just to name a few. We ask people
to use common sense.
While switching off lights in homes, keep in mind some safety measures. Keep small
night lights on for basic safety especially in halls and on stairs. Make sure you
have alternative light sources handy before Earth Hour starts, like torches or flashlights.
That way if you need to see, you have a light source close at hand, and you can
still respect the spirit of Earth Hour and keep yourself and your family safe.
11. Can I use candles for my Earth Hour event?
If you plan on burning candles during Earth Hour, try to use 100% beeswax candles
or soy candles, which are gentler on our planet - smoke free, non-toxic and non-allergenic.
Alternately use earthen lamps (diyas). You now have a range of “eco-friendly” candles,
solar lanterns, etc which are freely available in the market. Some of these products
are also made of natural products, not petroleum-based materials, so they are effectively
carbon neutral (the CO2 they emit has already been taken from the atmosphere to
produce the wax).
12. What is Earth Hour's position on safety?
Earth Hour wants everyone to be absolutely safe and never to turn off any lights
or power that would in any way compromise the safety of any individual in a private
or public space. While Earth Hour is asking people to turn off lights for an hour
the intention is never to make anyone or any place unsafe. So please put safety
first when deciding what lights to turn off during your participation.
13. Will my city go completely black?
Earth Hour is not a black out. It is a voluntary action by its participants to show
their commitment to an act of change that benefits the planet. For many businesses
in city skyscrapers or for many government buildings, the lights are turned off
at the end of the business day the Friday before Earth Hour. So Earth Hour is more
of a fade-out in some ways than a black-out. There is usually no instant dramatic
difference, but rather a gradual dimming of lights starting the day prior.
Many major icons and neon signs are switched off for the hour and they are extremely
noticeable. You may be able to see dramatic changes in large business districts
or at iconic landmarks and buildings around the world and in your city.
14. If everyone turns their lights back on at the same time will there be a
People celebrate Earth Hour in a variety of ways for different lengths of time,
with many continuing to keep their lights off well beyond the designated hour. Therefore,
it is highly improbable that everyone will switch their lights back on simultaneously.
However, we do work with energy companies and authorities, who assure us that the
unlikely scenario of all lights turning back on at the same time will not cause
any issues. The load reduction should not be significant enough to disrupt supply
post Earth Hour.
15. How many cities/countries/landmarks took part in Earth Hour 2012?
Across the world, more than 7001 cities, towns and municipalities took part in Earth
Hour 2011 across 152 countries, including 89 national capitals and 9 of the world’s
10 most populated cities. They included:
- New York
- Los Angeles
- Hong Kong
- Rio de Janeiro
- Mexico City
And many many more of the world’s biggest cities in a truly global action that took
place in major metropolises on every continent.
More than 1700 landmarks also went dark for Earth Hour 2012, including some of the
world's most iconic:
- Bird’s Nest (Olympic Stadium) in Beijing
- Eiffel Tower in Paris
- The Las Vegas Strip
- Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
- Buckingham Palace and Big Ben
- India Gate in New Delhi
- The Acropolis in Athens
- The Coliseum in Rome
- Empire State Building
- Table Mountain in Cape Town
16. What are the criteria for registering city, town or municipality participation
in Earth Hour 2013?
For a city, town or municipality to be officially recognized as a participant in
Earth Hour 2013 it must meet at least one of the following three criteria:
- Have the official support of its governing authority (e.g. Governor or Mayor)
- Have confirmed participation of a significant landmark or icon
- Have the support of an official Earth Hour ambassador
N.B. – to register your city, town or municipality you must be in a position
of governing authority to do so. If you are not in a position of authority to register
your city, town or municipality we encourage you to get in contact with your local
governing authority and ask them to sign up to be officially recognized as an Earth
Hour 2013 participating city, town or municipality.
17. What energy/carbon reductions have resulted from Earth Hour in previous
Earth Hour does not purport to be an energy/carbon reduction exercise, it is a symbolic
action. Therefore, we do not engage in the measurement of energy/carbon reduction
Earth Hour is an initiative to encourage individuals, businesses and governments
around the world to take accountability for their ecological footprint and engage
in dialogue and resource exchange that provides real solutions to our environmental
Participation in Earth Hour symbolizes a commitment to change beyond the hour.
18. How can I do more for Earth Hour than just switching off my lights?
For Earth Hour 2013 we are asking people, businesses and governments to go beyond
the hour, to make a commitment to an act of ongoing change that benefits the planet.
There are limitless things you can do on top of switching off your lights to take
Earth Hour beyond the hour. Have a look at the Get Involved section of this
website to know more.
Get creative and spread the word! Earth Hour is completely open-source so do anything
and everything you can to spread Earth Hour’s message of change for the benefit
of the planet. Earth Hour empowers individuals and businesses with a platform to
show leadership in environmental solutions by adopting and encouraging sustainable
lifestyle habits and business practices.
There are a host of materials on this website that will enable you to spread the
Earth Hour message as far and wide as possible. Feel free to use these materials
in any way you can to encourage people to switch off their lights for Earth Hour
and take steps to reduce their ecological footprint on a continuing basis.
19. What does Earth Hour aim to achieve in India?
Earth Hour aims to unite communities around environmental issues by creating a forum
where individuals can discuss ecological resolutions with like-minded people, by
creating a channel though which businesses can exchange sustainable practices with
their competitors, by building a platform that enables governments to showcase environmental
leadership, and by ultimately establishing a global network of individuals, corporations
and governments who are committed to the collective resolve of tackling the world’s
In India, Earth Hour today represents a lifestyle choice and commitment. Carried
forward by diverse sections of the society, industry and government, the spectrum
of support ranges from the President of India to a seven year old son of a rickshaw
puller in Bhopal.
20. How is Earth Hour 2013 different from 2012?
Earth Hour 2012 saw individuals, communities, businesses and governments across
the globe come together in a moment of unity for the planet, to share with the world
the ongoing environmental actions they were committing to beyond the hour. In more
than 7001 cities and towns across 152 countries, hundreds of millions of people
transcended race, culture, religion, geography and generation, uniting for Earth
Hour 2012 to show that together our actions add up.
With the rapid adoption of Earth Hour coming to symbolize a barometer of global
environmental concern, Earth Hour 2013 asks participants to not only share the actions
they are committing to beyond the hour but to challenge others in their community
to commit to their own action.
Earth Hour 2013 is not the culmination of an environmental campaign. It’s
the start of a journey of behavioural change for individuals, sustainable practice
for businesses, and leadership of governments on the path to global environmental
Earth Hour 2013 aims to introduce and raise awareness about Renewable Energy solutions
as an upcoming and practical option for consumers to adopt to reduce their impact
on the environment.
21. What is Earth Hour’s relationship with WWF-India? Does WWF own Earth
WWF Australia co-founded Earth Hour in Sydney in 2007, facilitating Earth Hour’s
rapid worldwide growth through its connection to WWF’s global network. With
a presence in more than 70 countries, WWF continues to play a valuable partner role,
ensuring a solid foundation and support network on which to deliver a truly global
environmental message throughout the year.
WWF-India is proud to have a proactive and committed supporter base working tirelessly
in their own unique ways and local areas to show their solidarity with the cause
of Earth Hour.
22. Do you have requirements or regulations about who can or cannot partner
with Earth Hour?
Any partner must uphold and support the aims and principles of Earth Hour in India.
These include encouraging individual and community engagement on environmental issues.
Encouraging conscious decisions to change the way we live in order to affect environmental
reform, without the use of scare tactics or shaming. The specific decisions about
whether or not to partner with a group or corporation are made at local level by
Earth Hour country and city teams based on what suits their needs and community
in achieving the goals of Earth Hour.
23. Does Earth Hour welcome the support of other NGOs (Non-Government Organizations)
and NFP's (Not for Profits)?
Absolutely. In fact, the success of Earth Hour would not be possible without the
support of other NGOs and NFPs working across locations and communities throughout
24. Are there any other social media outlets or forums for Earth Hour in India?
Yes. Have a look at the Get Involved section to know more about our communities.
You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
25. What is the Earth Hour City Challenge?
Taking the Earth Hour movement forward, WWF jointly with ICLEI-Local Governments
for Sustainability, has launched the Earth Hour City Challenge. It is a global initiative
to reward pioneering cities that are leading the way towards a fully sustainable
See more at Earth
Hour City Challenge. In 2012, cities throughout Canada, India, Italy, Sweden
and the United States participated in the pilot challenge.
26. Why should you participate?
In India, 30% of the total population lives in cities, and in the next 50 years
this will rise to 800 million. Worldwide 50% of the total population already lives
in cities and this is expected to touch 70% by 2050. The global footprint for cities
accounts for 70% of the worlds CO2 emissions, and if we continue on this path of
growth, we will seriously jeopardize the future of our planet. There in an opportunity
in this crisis, also for India cities, to consider their urban development plans
and invest in the creation of sustainable cities that can support these growing
populations, without severely impacting the planet’s health.