Earth Hour is tonight, March 31, from 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. (your time, wherever you are). Started 5 years ago by the World Wildlife Fund in Sydney, Australia, more than 5,400 cities now participate in Earth Hour, the world's largest voluntary mass event to support the planet.
Hundreds of millions of people, and many of the world's most popular landmarks turn out their lights for the occasion -- including Washington's National Cathedral, Big Ben, the Great Wall of China, the Sydney Opera House, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, Tokyo Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Empire State Building, and many more.
The purpose behind the event is to raise awareness for climate change and motivate ongoing action to help the planet. (Dear Debbie Downer: No, no one thinks turning out all these lights for an hour is going to save the planet, the point is to inspire all of us to make positive environmental changes in our lives.)
Even Dr. Suess is getting involved.
As part of Earth Hour this year, YouTube is launching an I Will If You Will platform, which lets people challenge each other into doing something good for the environment -- and getting something cool back. For example, Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax movie will turn the main character’s mustache green if 500 children promise to turn off their lights for Earth Hour, and supermodel Miranda Kerr will teach a yoga class to 500 fans who create their own challenge.
The popularity of Earth Hour has been increasing every year. In 2007, 2 million people switched off their lights in Sydney. In 2008, more than 50 million people all over the world took part. In 2009 almost 1 billion people participated and in 2011, more than 1.8 billion people joined the party.
So get out your candles and plan a romantic dinner, a relaxing soak in the bath, or just sit under the stars and gaze at the beauty that surrounds our awesome planet.
So what do you say? Will you participate in Earth Hour tonight?
Image via earth hour/YouTube