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Earth Hour 2024 –
Lights off, future on

There is power in darkness – in 2024, the world took this to heart and switched off the lights for one hour at 8.30 p.m. local time. The darkness not only fell over individual houses and apartments, but entire buildings and even landmarks did not shine as brightly as usual. It’s hard to believe that this annual dark hour is supposed to bring light back into our future. But this is precisely the purpose of the so-called “Earth Hour”.

"A shining example of climate protection"

On March 31, 2007, history was made in Australia: 2.2 million households in Sydney switched off their lights for 60 minutes at the same time for the first time. The “World Wide Fund of Nature” (WWF), one of the largest and strongest nature organizations in the world, was behind the spectacle. During this brief period of darkness, many people around the world saw a light go on.

The so-called “Earth Hour” was born. The idea behind it is quite simple: once a year, people around the world feel called upon to take a stand for climate and environmental protection. To this end, the lights are switched off between 8.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. local time. It is now not only Australia that is committed to a healthier planet, but countries and cities on all continents are joining the campaign. It is important to note that the aim of Earth Hour is not necessarily to save energy by switching off the lights. Rather, it is a symbolic and peaceful protest that calls for more commitment to climate and environmental protection on the part of politicians and businesses and sends out a signal for basic democratic values.

The hour of the earth 2024

For the 18th time, entire cities around the world were shrouded in darkness. As always, Earth Hour took place in March each year; in 2024, it fell on March 23. The WWF speaks of a complete success – in Germany alone, 550 cities took part in the highly symbolic initiative and called for more concrete climate protection measures. In 2024, numerous cities around the world with millions of inhabitants, such as Tokyo, Rome and New Delhi, also took part in the protest campaign.

Earth Hour: Colloseum in Rome - bright
Earth Hour: Colloseum in Rome - dark
Earth Hour: India Gate in New Delhi - bright
Earth Hour: India Gate in New Delhi - dark
Earth Hour: Tokyo Tour - bright
Earth Hour: Tokyo Tour - dark

Focus on plant-based nutrition

This year, WWF dedicated Earth Hour entirely to the topic of plant-based nutrition. “By opting for a more plant-based diet, we are not only setting an example, but also making a direct contribution to climate protection,” said Julia Haslinger from WWF Austria, explaining the decision to choose this topic. According to the expert, 37% of global greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the production, processing and waste of food. As animal products such as meat, fish and milk are particularly harmful to the climate and the environment, more emphasis should be placed on a plant-based diet.

Join in! - Hour Bank for active climate protection

If switching off the lights is not enough and you feel you want to do even more, you might be interested in the so-called “Hour Bank“. This initiative first encouraged active minds around the world to come together and dedicate a few hours of their time to environmentally friendly activities as part of Earth Hour in 2023. In the first year alone, 410,000 hours were collected. This figure is set to be topped in 2024: WWF Germany, for example, offered the following five activities from March 1 onwards, which focused on climate protection or strengthening democracy:

1. enter in the Earth Hour map

Everyone who wants to take part in Earth Hour should sign up on the Earth Hour map and switch off the lights together in solidarity at 8.30 pm. In this way, Germany not only wants to show that the initiative is being implemented, but also how many people are actually taking part.

2. clean-up for a clean neighborhood

Get together with your friends or neighbors and clean up the streets and parks in your area as a group.

3. gossipers beware

Get together with your friends and family and exchange ideas, for example by cooking together.

4. use the lesson for learning

The WWF Academy offers three free, one-hour courses on various environmental and climate topics. Whether alone or with friends, you can interactively expand your skills in the sessions.

5. every degree counts - sustainable washing

Washing clothes sustainably is not difficult. A gentle wash cycle saves a lot of money, electricity and CO2.

csm_EarthHour-2024-Licht-an-am-Brandenburger-Tor-c-Joerg-Farys_0dd5eb93dc
Earth Hour 2024 at the Brandenburg Gate

The next Earth Hour is not long in coming: on Saturday, March 29, 2025, it will be that time again. Mark the date in your calendar and dedicate another hour this year to improving our planet.

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