Tonight, March 24, 2018 is Earth Hour around the world. People across the planet are called upon to turn off their lights for a one hour period between 8:30pm and 9:30pm during their local time.
Earth Hour is an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund. The initiative began 11 years ago in 2007. The goal of the event is to raise awareness around the world regarding significant environmental issues. The organizers of the yearly event overall want people to think about how to conserve energy and how energy consumption can lead to additional greenhouse gas emissions.
Each year, there is also a specific environmental goal that the organizers promote. This year, the World Wildlife Fund wants to focus on biodiversity.
Over the course of the life of Earth Hour, there have been some successes regarding the issues that have been highlighted. For instance, in 2014, the focus was on banning plastics on the Galapagos Islands. Legislation has been passed bringing that into effect. Also, efforts were made in another year to plant nearly 17 million trees in Kazakhstan. This effort was also highly successful.
Many cities are going to participate officially in Earth Hour this year. In Sydney, Australia, the iconic Sydney Opera House will go dark during Earth Hour. In Paris, the city officials will turn the lights off on the Eiffel Tower. New York City will take part in Earth Hour by plunging the Empire State Building into darkness.
In addition to keeping the lights off for one hour, Earth Hour organizers are hoping that participants will think about ways in which they can personally make a difference in the environment. Readers that were surveyed by the Guardian newspaper mentioned that they would try to get their parents to drive the car less while others mentioned that they would attempt to cut back on the use of plastics.