Earth Hour

Earth Hour

Every year, millions of people around the world switch off their lights for one hour to draw attention to the environment. Read on to find out more.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.

What is Earth Hour? 

Every year, in late March, people and institutions come together to switch off all non-essential lights for sixty minutes at 8.30 p.m. local time. They do this to show their support for the fight against the climate crisis and loss of biodiversity. Millions of people all around the world join in, as do governments, businesses and institutions. By switching off their lights and measuring the reduction in the amount of energy that is being used, people are showing that it is possible to make a difference. 

But Earth Hour is more than one hour without lights, once a year. It's part of a movement of people who are working together all year round to protect the environment.

How did it start? 

The World Wide Fund for Nature in Australia introduced the idea in 2007. They wanted to find a way to raise awareness about climate change. And they wanted to show that when millions of individuals work together, they can make a difference. 

The first Earth Hour was held on 31 March 2007 at 7.30 p.m. in Sydney. More than two million residents and 2,000 businesses turned their lights out for one hour. The lights also went out on the famous Sydney Opera House. The people of the city of San Francisco were so inspired by the event in Sydney that they held their own 'Lights Out' event in October of the same year. This was the beginning of the Earth Hour movement. 

How many cities take part? 

The event has grown over the years, with more and more people, businesses, organisations and governments taking part every year.

In 2008, a year after the first Earth Hour event, 35 countries and more than 400 cities joined in. Websites also took part, turning their homepages black in support of the initiative. By 2012, 152 countries and more than 7,000 cities and towns were taking part. In recent years, the numbers have kept increasing, with more than 188 countries and territories worldwide taking part each year. In 2019, more than two billion photos were shared on social media platforms. 

Famous people and famous places

A number of celebrities have put their names to the cause, including singer Ellie Goulding, tennis star Andy Murray, TV host Ellen de Generes, actor Leonardo di Caprio and ex-Beatle Paul McCartney. Politicians and world leaders have also given their support, and thousands of famous landmarks have turned off their lights, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Empire State Building in New York and the Pyramids in Egypt. 

What has the movement achieved? 

The Earth Hour movement has achieved much more than getting people to turn off their lights. Since 2007, among other actions, they have planted trees in various countries around the world, including a 2,700 hectare forest in Uganda and 17 million trees in Kazakhstan. They worked together to ban the use of plastics on the islands of the Galapagos, one of the most important nature reserves on the planet. And they have sponsored solar power projects in India and the Philippines.

What can I do? 

Join the movement. Find out the date and time for this year. Visit the Earth Hour website and find out what's going on. Then get ready to turn off your lights and join the millions of other people around the world who are fighting to save our planet! 

Sources:

Discussion

Download
Worksheet82.41 KB

Language level

Average: 4.1 (20 votes)
Do you need to improve your English?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are making great progress with their English level with our online courses.

Submitted by teacher.fu on Thu, 06/06/2024 - 16:42

Permalink

Earth Hour is very helpful for our life. As a teacher in high school, this activity can be used to educate student in my school as one of the ways to fight against climate change.

Profile picture for user karabo

Submitted by karabo on Thu, 06/06/2024 - 12:36

Permalink

I think Earth Hour is definitely a great idea. It simply shows just how much the environment, nature and climate are appreciated. 

Submitted by Janelyy on Sat, 13/05/2023 - 05:18

Permalink

Absolutely, I believe that Earth Hour has massive positive effects on saving our Earth. Inspire of a small action that worked by people, businesses, institutions worldwide, it brings a great meaning to fight against the climate crisis and loss of biodiversity. Earth hour is more than 1 hour without light, It shows the way people work together to protect our planet. It is never too late for human to take action.

Submitted by Book reader on Thu, 20/04/2023 - 15:38

Permalink

Just my family and I were talking about Earth Hour yesterday. Earth Hour also was a good idea to exist because we as human, never stop using earth resources. So by this event, we have to take a moment to not disturb Earth.

I do agree that it is important to have Earthly hour to raise sensitivity on saving electricity, here in South Africa we have a lot of electricity problems. It is important to also use electricity in a way that can benefit people all over the world, because it causes problems in Organizations and business these days. Here in my world solar power is the new era of electricity because it benefits the environment in many ways.

Submitted by Ibrahimyousef on Thu, 13/04/2023 - 13:27

Permalink

Yes, I think it is a good idea to save biodiversity planeta and animals in the worldwide .

Submitted by Thuladu Khumalo on Mon, 10/04/2023 - 13:04

Permalink

Earth hour is very important because we really do need clean air. It calls for collective effort indeed to maitain that and it is also imperative to preserve nature.

Submitted by Namal75 on Sun, 02/04/2023 - 09:02

Permalink

This is very important drive to participate and show your support for the cause

Profile picture for user Verveine

Submitted by Verveine on Sat, 25/03/2023 - 09:21

Permalink

By seeing lights turn off around us in our daily lives, we can have awareness of how important it is to save the power and environment problems.
I have heard the name of this action"Earth hour" before, but never done any actions for it. I check the website of EARTH HOUR in 2023 in Japan because I wanted to do something. Today is the day for EARTH HOUR and some cities which are 30 muninutes far from my town by train will join this project. A prover says "Seeing is believing". I'm turning off the non-essential lights in my house.

Submitted by tazlynn265 on Fri, 16/09/2022 - 21:05

Permalink

Yes, I do think earth hour is a excellent idea. It shows that no matter where you are you can make a difference and the more we work together the better out come we will get.