Lights out for Earth Hour!

Lauren Moriarty and Monalisa Booysen
27 March 2021

Earth Hour is one of the largest movements across the globe, with over 188 countries and millions of people participating in a lights-out event. Earth Hour was started by WWF and several partners in Sydney, Australia 2007 as a local light-out event in support for climate action. It takes place on the last Saturday of March each year for one hour, usually between 20:30 pm to 21:30 pm in your local time. After 14 years Earth Hour continues to be a symbol of a broader commitment to the health of the planet and nature.

Why is Earth Hour so important? This hour not only sheds some ‘light’ on the power we use and depend on daily by switching off our electricity, but also to understand that resources are not infinite and if continued to be consumed as they currently are with no regard to the vital role nature plays in our lives, there will not be a tomorrow to look forward to. Species are disappearing before our eyes, temperatures are rising, our dependence on finite resources without sustainable developments or shifts towards renewable options is a dangerous road to keep on. Today is an important time for us to all speak up for nature. 


The Earth Hour event is critical for nature, sparking global conversations and aims to encourage individuals; government; and businesses around the globe to play a part in helping to take action, raise awareness on climate issues, and work towards a sustainable future for all.

Earth Hour not only inspires change and motivates people to stand up for our planet but has the potential to make real change, this year 2021 world leaders are coming together to set the environmental agenda for the next decade. Earth Hour could be a beacon, a spotlight, to help put nature and sustainable development front and centre of crucial political and international discussions. Together we can start the conversation and show those world leaders the importance that nature plays in our lives and that urgent decisions and actions must be taken.

Earth Hour was brought to South Africa in 2009 which has since seen the increase in South Africans hearing the call to speak up for nature and our planet, by creating a more equitable and sustainable future for all. There have been several successes that have stemmed from Earth Hour in South Africa such as, several landmarks (eg. Table Mountain and FNB stadium in JHB) participating in lights-out events; thousands of signatures in support to move to more renewable energy; and annual events in support of the lights-out hour which is growing with each year.

What can you do for Earth Hour? Firstly, switch off your lights for one hour, play board games with your family, stargaze, have dinner by candle light, there are so many possibilities and we’d love to hear what you get up to!

There are also several virtual events taking place not only in South Africa but around the globe. Perhaps opt to take part in one of these virtual events to highlight the issues our planet faces. 

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