Never before has such a unified movement of solidarity showed its support for our planet. On the 19th March, 2016, millions came together to show their backing of the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) initiative, and in 178 countries and territories across the globe, lights were switched off and power was shut down for 60 minutes to show support for global efforts to slow climate change.
The first Earth Hour was held in Sydney, Australia in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and business turned off their lights for an hour to make a stand against climate change, and after that auspicious start, the reach of the initiative increased exponentially, involving more than 50 million people in 35 countries only a year later.
Jump forward yet another year and over 100 million people were involved, and by 2010 Earth Hour was being held in almost 130 countries and territories. Famous landmarks and iconic buildings had their lights switched off for an hour, the White House has been shut down, and global leaders like Al Gore and Ban Ki-Moon have lent their support for the movement.
Take a look at this video promoting the Earth Hour idea:
Looking at some of the statistics of Earth Hour, it is quite incredible to see just what involvement there has been. The numbers don’t lie, and in 2016:
- Over 400 of the worlds iconic landmarks were switched off.
- Over 6600 Earth Hour events were created on digital maps.
- Over 1,2 million individual actions were taken to help prevent global climate change.
- 7 Countries are currently aiming for climate policy outcomes.
- Over 2.5 billion impressions of official campaign hashtags in the five days preceding and including EH.
- Over 28 000 people who changed their profile picture to an EH-related one.
- Over 18,7 million potentially reached via social network posts related to EH.
At Londolozi we also did our bit to show our support, with all electrical lights being switched off at 20:30. The camps looked beautiful, with only the soft glow of candles and paraffin lanterns lighting the pathways and adorning the decks and rooms.
As you may have noticed in the above image, the Londolozi invitation to join the EH movement mentions “Beyond 60 Minutes”, and indeed in the title picture of this post, the international logo is “60+”. Earth Hour these days is attempting to get people to make their contribution for longer than an hour. Next year it might be “120+”, and after that, who knows? Earth Evening? Earth Day?
What is wonderful – especially in South Africa, where El Nino has contributed to our driest year since 1904 – is how the awareness of global climate initiatives, human impact, and the steps each individual can take to reduce their impact on the planet, is growing almost daily.
At Londolozi we strive to live out such values in our day-to-day routines, having weekly litter clean-ups and placing a huge emphasis on waste removal, plastic-free living and reducing our power usage. Even one lodge in the beautiful Lowveld of South Africa can make a difference.
Are you doing your bit to make one too…?