On Saturday, March 19, millions across the world participated in WWF’s annual Earth Hour, ‘shining a light’ on the planet’s climate needs by opting out from using electricity. This year, 178 countries participated, the most to date, by going dark for the 60-minute block from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., local time.
For the event’s tenth edition, landmarks, communities, businesses, and more participated in what’s billed as the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment. It may only be an hour, but the group urges participants to use the time to limit their electrical use (it counts just to turn off nonessential lights), contemplate our world’s climate needs, and even get creative with how you enjoy the darkness.
“To celebrate, you can have a candle lit dinner, talk to your neighbors, stargaze, go camping, play board games, have a concert, screen an environmental documentary … the possibilities are endless,” says the Earth Hour website.
Originally launched in Sydney as a one-city event in 2007, Earth Hour has grown immensely each year, and the 2016 edition came shortly after the historic climate summit in Paris. Supporters switched off in seven continents and even aboard the International Space Station, but the significance is perhaps best seen in the more than 400 landmarks that dimmed their lights worldwide.
“As the world stands at a climate crossroads, Earth Hour has ensured that the demand for climate action echoes across the globe, from glass skylines to digital timelines,” said Siddarth Das, executive director of Earth Hour Global.
“The past 24 hours have shown us yet again the impact we can achieve when we unite for a cause,” Das said. “Every light switch turned off represents a call to switch on our collective power and be the first line of defense for our planet as we form the frontlines of climate change.” Click through to see our favorite images of iconic landmarks that observed Earth Hour this year.
Curious about how your travel choices impact the environment? Take a look at this.