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"Earth Hour": Why everything will go black and we turn the lights off for an hour

Posted on March 27 2020

On Saturday, the 28th of March, the wohle world will be dark for one hour during "Earth Hour" – at least that is the plan. The global campaign will shed light on the topics of nature conservation and biodiversity. We will explain how it works and what it’s supposed to achieve.

One, two, three, lights out! This year on March 28th - or on the last Saturday of every March - it will again be dark on earth for one hour. With the global campaign "Earth Hour", a common signal is to be set and to stand up for the environment and biodiversity.

What is „Earth Hour“ about?

"Earth Hour" probably is the largest environmental and climate campaign in the world. The primary goal is for the world to stand up for the environment and for everyone to send a clear signal together: On March 28th at 8:30 pm (or in the local time zone) all lights will be turned off for one hour – no matter if it is a famous landmark, street lamps, shop window lighting or private lamps in your home. As a peaceful protest movement, the campaign initiated by the WWF, wants to shed light on the issues of the environment and biodiversity and thus encourage society to rethink.

Does „Earth Hour“ make any difference at all?

The campaign is not about saving the world by putting out all lights. It's rather a symbolic gesture to demonstrate that great attention can be achieved if everyone sticks together. This becomes most obvious when looking back at the origin of the action: In 2007, "Earth Hour" was held for the first time in Sydney, Australia. At that time, the primary goal was to promote the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. More than ten years later, over 7000 cities in 180 different countries already are participating in the campaign.

Back in 2007, it was mainly private households that took part in the campaign, but participation is now increasing, especially among entire cities and various companies. For example, the Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the skyline of Hong Kong and the pyramids of Giza will be darkening their landmarks for an hour. The motto here is: the greater the action and participation, the greater the sign. This year too, an appeal will be made to the political decision-makers. It should finally dawn on them that they also have to commit (more) to a thriving planet.

Is Switzerland also taking part in „Earth Hour“?

In Switzerland too, entire cities, companies and many private individuals have been taking part in the campaign for several years. From Aarau to Lenzburg and Zurich in German-speaking Switzerland, Arbaz to Veytaux in French-speaking Switzerland and Bellinzona to Lugano in Ticino, a total of over 40 Swiss cities are taking part this year as well. For example, the Basel Cathedral, the Rhine Falls and Lucerne's Chapel Bridge will see black for 60 minutes. Only safety-relevant street lighting defies the darkness.

How can you take part?

The easiest way to do your part, is to turn off the lights! On March 28th at 20:30 pm, consciously refrain for one hour from turning on the light. After all, great things can be done in the dark, a candle light dinner for example. But also profound conversations about any- and everything under the sun lets us concentrate on the counterpart for once in complete darkness – no matter if in person or on the phone. Although the light pollution in Switzerland will not disappear completely even due to the great participation in the event on the evening of 28 March, still the starry sky can be wonderfully observed in the darkness. Or for once you can simply go to bed earlier than usual!


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