Earth hour 2023: what time should you turn your lights off, how long for and why?

Earth Hour will take place across the globe this weekend

Households across the globe will be going dark for an hour this weekend in a bid to help the planet.

The annual Earth Hour will take place on Saturday (25 March) and people are being encouraged to turn off non-essential lights for sixty minutes. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are behind the event which has been running for 15 years.

It is intended as an opportunity for “reflection on our ever-lasting impact on the planet and how we can make a difference”. People in 192 countries around the world are expected to take part in the switch off.

Earth Hour started out as an event in Sydney, Australia, before being spread across the globe. The dates for next year’s event have already been announced.

Here is all you need to know:

When is Earth Hour in 2023?

The event will take place on Saturday, 25 March, this year. It always takes place on the last Saturday of March, except in years when Easter weekend falls at the end of March - it is then moved a week earlier.

For those who are considering taking part in Earth Hour in 2023, you should go dark between 8.30pm and 9.30pm local time.

Lights switched off on the London Eye during Earth Hour. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)Lights switched off on the London Eye during Earth Hour. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Lights switched off on the London Eye during Earth Hour. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

What is Earth Hour?

The first iteration was held in Sydney, Australia in 2007 as a lights-off event, it was expanded out to the rest of the globe in 2008. Earth Hour has taken place each year on the final Saturday of March, except in the case of Easter weekend falling on that date, ever since.

It is not just households which will be switching off their lights, landmarks such as the London Eye and the Eiffel Tower have participated in the event in previous years.

On its website, the WWF explains: “Earth Hour is the moment millions of people across the globe unite to show that they care about the future of our planet, our one shared home. People join from their homes and local communities across towns and cities in over 192 countries and territories.

“During the unprecedented time of 2020, Earth Hour made history by bringing global communities together online. It highlighted the vulnerability of our planet, and the need to tackle climate change and protect nature. Over 9 million people took part in Earth Hour in the UK alone in 2020, switching off in solidarity.

“For years, landmarks around the world have switched off their lights to support Earth Hour. From the Sydney Opera House, then the Colosseum and the Eiffel Tower, reaching the London Eye and moving on to the Empire State Building.”

The WWF continues: “Earth Hour is more than making a small change on one day. Giving an hour for Earth reminds us that even small actions can make a big difference. Because we’re not alone. There are millions of people joining to reduce out environmental impacts, collectively.

“Besides, when we make changes in our own lives to reduce our footprint, we inspire those around us to do the same. So, even one person making a small change can really make a difference in shaping our beliefs and values for the future of our planet.”

How long should you turn your lights off for?

If you are participating in Earth Hour, you should switch your non-essential lights off for sixty minutes between 8.30pm and 9.30pm.

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