In an urge to save the planet, Earth Hour is an international event, organised by World Wildlife Fund that encourages people to turn off non-essential electric lights for an hour on a specific day towards the end of March. The lights are usually plugged off from 8:30 in the evening to 9:30 p.m. as a symbol of commitment to the planet. From famous monuments across the world to next-door neighbours, the Earth Hour witnesses individuals, communities and businesses coming together, shutting down the lights, in order to help spread awareness about sustainability and fight climate change. Those observing the Hour, sing a pledge to decrease their environmental footprint while participating in the blackout.

What is Earth Hour?
Started by World Wildlife Fund, the global grassroots event takes place every year in March and encourages people and businesses to switch off unnecessary lights and appliances like fridges, freezers, hot water cylinders, lights, and dryers to conserve energy. In the one hour of the event, from 8:30 pm to 9 pm, major landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, Toronto’s CN Tower and others, dim or shut off their lights to mark the occasion.

Where and when was it started?
The event kickstarted in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, on March 31 at 7:30 pm after the idea of a large scale switch off was coined and developed in 2006 by WWF Australia. Internationally, the event was held on March 29, 2008, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time, marking the first anniversary of the Australian event and 35 countries around the world participated as official flagship cities with over 400 cities in support.

Date and Time of Earth Hour in India
While the Earth Hour has already kicked off this year in the Pacific island nation of Samoa, India will witness it from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm on Saturday, at the country’s local time.

According to the Earth Hour website of WWF, “Our connection to Earth and nature is undeniable: our planet’s gain is everyone’s gain. Nature not only provides us with all the things we need to live – from the air we breathe to the water we drink, and from the shelter we need to the economy we rely on – but also makes our lives better. However, its growing loss puts this all under threat. This Earth Hour, join millions around the world to turn off the lights and speak up about why nature matters. #Connect2Earth. WWF has partnered with United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to create connect2earth.org.”