It would be amazing to be sitting in a space capsule high above Earth this weekend, watching darkness sweep across the face of the planet as cities everywhere turn out their lights for an hour on Saturday night.
It is equally inspiring to think that this global act started in Sydney just five years ago, when WWF-Australia* inspired Sydney-siders to show their support for climate change action.
That year, 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights out for one hour.
It was as if someone turned the lights on. By 2011 Earth Hour had reached over 1.8 billion people in 135 countries across every continent.
Earth Hour is now a global environmental initiative in partnership with WWF and Leo Burnett and has taken the action beyond the hour with this year’s I Will If You Will campaign, which invites individuals and organisations to challenge others to an ongoing environmental commitment.
Supermodel Miranda Kerr will conduct a free yoga class for the public now that 500 of her fans have committed to create their own “I Will If You Will” challenge for Earth Hour.
Transformers star, Australian actress and keen environmentalist Isabel Lucas, has pledged to plant 100 trees if 100 people plant one tree each.
“The Beast from the East”, Russian former WBA heavyweight boxing champion, now politician Nikolay Valuev, has made a huge promise to organise recycling in the Duma if 100,000 people sign WWF Russia's petition on passing a new law about protection of the sea from oil spills.
So far this year, Earth Hour has seen thousands of people accept and create challenges at YouTube.com/EarthHour in order to inspire friends, family, businesses and colleagues to adopt sustainable practices beyond the hour.
“Everybody has the power the change the world they live in; it’s great to have such well known personalities use their voice to spread this message even further and connect people with the common goal of protecting the planet,” said Andy Ridley, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Earth Hour.
* The World Wide Fund for Nature, formerly World Wildlife Fund
Games to lighten the darkest hour
If you want to engage the kids in the concept of Earth Hour or entertain them (or yourself) while the lights are out, take a look at the earthhour.org website.
It has games and other fun stuff such as making a Virtual Lantern that you can then email to friends or send into cyberspace, or setting up a Virtual Lightswitch that will ‘turn out’ your computer screen when you flick it.