Every year, on the last Saturday in March, Earth Hour focuses the world's attention on the planet via a vitally important symbolic gesture. Although carbon is saved by turning things off, the point is the unmissable demonstration — with a huge chunk of the world's population caring about the same thing at the same time. If we can manage this for Earth Hour, why not for grander environmental things?
It all started in Sydney in 2007, and has become an international event in the years since, with hundreds of millions of people taking part in more than 7000 cities across over 180 countries. Of course, in 2020, things will be a bit different, with no out-of-home activities taking place — but Earth Hour is still asking everyone to join in by staying in the house and turning off the lights at 8.30pm AEDT on Saturday, March 28 (7.30pm AEST).
While you're sitting in the dark, you can also live-stream a heap of performers thanks to Earth Hour Live, with Montaigne, Cody Simpson, Jack River, Polish Club, Bobby Alu, Ella Haber, Dulcie and Alice Skye all on the bill — and journalist Patrick Abboud on hosting duties.
And, although you won't be able to see them yourself, local and global landmarks and tourist spots such as the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Luna Park, the Wheel of Brisbane, Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, the Eiffel Tower, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Tokyo Skytree, Brandenburg Gate, the Colosseum in Rome, Taipei 101, the Petronas Twin Towers, the Ali Qapu Palace, the Akropolis and Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong are all getting into the Earth Hour spirit by switching their lights off for an hour, too.
Images: Earth Hour 2019. Sydney. Luna Park, The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, photographed from Lavender Street, Lavender Bay. Photography by Quentin Jones. 30 March 2019. © Quentin Jones / WWF-Aus
The Melbourne Star turns out its lights for Earth Hour 2018. © Alain Nguyen / WWF-Aus
Story Bridge, Brisbane with lights switched off to celebrate 10 years of Earth Hour, Brisbane, 25 March 2017. © Anastasia Woolmington / WWF-Aus.