Every year, at 8.30 pm on the last Saturday of March, supporters in over 190 countries and territories unite, taking action on and raising awareness of the issues facing our one home.
Started in 2007 by WWF and partners as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney to raise awareness of climate change, Earth Hour is now one of the world’s largest grassroots movements for the environment. Back then, the organisers encouraged people around the world to switch off their lights to call attention to climate change. More than a decade later, the climate crisis remains, made worse by another urgent threat: the rapid loss of biodiversity and nature.
That’s why Earth Hour aims 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.
The CEE region puts children at the centre
Many are also the initiatives happening in Central and Eastern Europe. And many are the countries putting children and students at the front and centre of the fight against climate change, recognising the role of young generations in shaping tomorrow’s energy sector.
Greece, for example, is insisting on young students as catalysts of change. In the week before Earth Hour, every school will choose a day and time and turn that suit them and turn off the lights either in the classroom or in the house (each student in his/her home with his/her parents) while reading stories about the Earth.
Also, Albania is creating initiatives from and for young people. Indeed, Tirana has been elected as the 2022 European Youth Capital so young people are invited to gather in the main square of Albania’s capital to talk to people inviting them to act for the planet by participating in the Earth Hour.
Croatia’s classrooms will also join Earth Hour. During several workshops, students will learn in particular the concept of electronic waste and through a fun escape room learn how to dispose of it and what to do to prevent pollution and exploitation of the Earth.
Earth Hour by bike
Romania will be all about green transportation. The association Adevărații VeloPrieteni is insisting on the bike as the most efficient way of getting around in the case of urban traffic congestion. It is all about energetic efficiency, average speed in the cities and occupied space, which present with more advantages in the case of bikes rather than that of cars. Thus, the organisers invite all the bikers on a trip through the centre of Bucharest.
Yerevan, in Armenia, will host a ride competition called Ride to care, a challenge for participants to experience their power to make a long-term change. Accordingly, cycling helps to protect biodiversity because it creates less noise, less air pollution and fewer emissions that are warming the circumstances. The ride contest will challenge participants to cycle by saving possibly the most energy. Participants who manage the challenge by saving energy will get a coupon from WWF Armenia for shopping from certain shops. This activity will engage participants to take part in the event and promote the mission of Earth Hour. Also, it will show and visualise what impact cycling could have on the environment as an ecologically friendly means of transportation in the long term.