On March 23, 2013, Saturday, the world will be commemorating the sixth Earth Hour celebration.
Earth Hour is an event organized by the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature and it is held annually towards the end of March. Households and business establishments are encouraged to turn off their lights for an hour in order to raise awareness about climate change and the need for everyone to take action.
In 2007, the environmental organization WWF-Australia was able to move the citizens in Sydney, Australia, to support the advocacy for climate change action. It was the first ever Earth Hour event, wherein over 2 million individuals and approximately 2,000 business establishments participated by turning off their lights for one hour.
In 2008, 35 countries and about 400 cities and towns took part in Earth Hour, which eventually became an annual global event scheduled during late March. The event is closely set with the equinox so that most cities are experiencing darkness as Earth Hour rolls out around the globe.
By 2011, 135 countries participated in Earth Hour and the millions of participants went Beyond the Hour. Earth Hour 2012 was, this far, the largest event to date. More than 7,000 cities in 152 countries switched off their lights and accepted the challenge to save energy beyond an hour.
This 2013, the event is scheduled on March 23, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., so as not to be in conflict with the start of the European Summer Time and the observance of Holy Saturday.
In the Philippines, the country’s iconic landmarks are also expected to switch off their lights along with 151 other countries around the globe. The nation will be joining the world event for the fifth time this year. Since 2009, it has earned the title of “Earth Hour Hero Country,” as it provided the staunchest support for the movement.
Atty. Gia Ibay, the National Director of Earth Hour Philippines, informs the public that more people can join Earth Hour as the event goes digital. Those interested in joining the event can either switch off their lights at home or join initiatives by business entities or organizations in your locality. Participants can sign up on the official website of Earth Hour Philippines (wwf.org.ph/earthhour). An Action Kit is available for download.
The corporate partners for Earth Hour Philippines are Philips, Subaru, Smart Communications, ArthaLand, LBC Foundation, Starbucks, and Big Chill. Its media partners include GMA, ABS-CBN, TV5, Net 25, Discovery Channel, GNN, The Knowledge Channel, Jack TV, Business Mirror, Business World, The Philippine Daily Inquirer Libre, The Philippine Star, Aftercall Magazine, ClickTheCity.Com, Rappler, Kristn.Com, When in Manila, FocusMedia, QCreativs, Globaltronics, Jam 88.3, DZUP, and Radyo Veritas.
In Cebu City, you can participate in Earth Hour initiatives by Ayala Center Cebu and SM City Cebu. Ayala’s Earth Hour 2013 Ceremonial Switch Off will begin at 6:30 p.m., with Sponge Cola. Cebu Business Park and Y101 will also host a Family Fun Day at the Park from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., while the Habagat Earth Hour Night Ride will commence at 8:30 p.m. at the Cebu I.T. Park. SM’s ceremonial lights off will involve a party at The Northwing Al Fresco area with performances by firedancers and drumbeaters, among other entertaining activities.