Earth Hour, the world’s largest movement to protect our planet, is taking place Saturday 26th March from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
Born in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has since gained millions of supporters in over 190 countries and territories and more than 7000 cities. It’s a community-led movement that sees millions turn off their lights in a symbolic action to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.
For 2022, Earth Hour is highlighting how we can #ShapeOurFuture. Participants will call for stronger action on climate change, starting with recognising its impacts on vital ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef. Major international landmarks will also go dark in solidarity, including the Sydney Opera House, Paris’s Eiffel Tower, New York’s Empire State Building, Cairo’s Pyramids, Rio’s Christ the Redeemer and the Tokyo Sky Tree.
How to get involved?
Join the world in pledging to become more Earth-conscious by switching off the lights in your home or business from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm on Saturday 26th March.
10 easy switches you can make to #shapeourfuture
1. Switch to an ethical superannuation
Superannuation is savings for your retirement, but it doesn’t just sit in a bank account until you’re 65. Super funds invest this money — trillions of dollars — to turn a profit for you. While you can’t choose specifically how your fund invests your money, you can choose a fund that makes investments that benefit your future, such as renewable energy, instead of choosing to support fossil fuels, arms manufacturing and mining.
2. Swap to a planet-friendly mobile plan
While we’re scrolling, swiping and texting whenever we want, the cell towers and data centres our phones are connected to are producing carbon emissions through the electricity they use. Thankfully, there are new carbon-neutral mobile plans that let us enjoy our phones and reduce our impact at the same time.
3. Switch to solar power
Did you know that if all households were to switch to solar, that’s equivalent to taking all forms of transport off the road? If you’re a homeowner, there are government subsidies that will fund the installation of solar panels on your house to help offset your usage. If you’re renting, choose projects and products that use solar power, switch to a green energy provider (see tip #9), or join a community solar project.
4. Plant for pollinators in your garden
Bees, butterflies and pollinating birds are crucial to our global food security. One-third of the food we consume and 80% of flowering plants need pollination to do their thing. By choosing plants that attract native pollinators, your flowers and veggies will thrive while offering pollinators a place to rest and feed as they move around our cities
5. Choose carbon offsetting wherever you can (and understand why it works)
Carbon offsetting is reducing the impact of everyday activities that cause carbon emissions. It’s simple: one carbon credit equals one tonne of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere by trees. The easiest way to do this is by always choosing to offset your air travel or parcel deliveries where possible — your money will be invested in projects that could empower communities, protect ecosystems, restore forests or reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
6. Give your old wardrobe new life
We all love clothes, but clearly, we don’t love them enough because each of us is sending an average of 23 kgs of textile waste to landfill each year. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, that’s 85% of all textiles purchased ending up in landfill. This switch is easy: choose high-quality clothing that lasts, only donate wearable clothing and find a textile recycling service for anything stained or unwearable. And give your old wardrobe a good once-over every few months — you may find some gems in there that you can roll out again, instead of purchasing new clothes.
7. Reduce your food waste
Did you know that on average, one-third of all food produced globally goes to waste? Choosing to be conscious of the amount you buy and cook, as well as always eating leftovers, is a good place to start. Disposing of your food scraps into a worm farm or compost heap will help your garden thrive while also greatly reducing the amount of food that ends up in landfill
8. Switch to different forms of planet-friendly transportation
Bicycles. Electric scooters. Public transport. Electric cars. Walking. There are so many ways we can reduce our impact on the environment by choosing to reduce our reliance on cars and fossil fuels. Transport like walking or cycling is good for your health too!
9. Switch to a carbon-neutral or green energy provider
There are lots of energy providers to choose from, and some of them offer either carbon-neutral or renewable energy product options (or both). While breaking up with your current provider can feel hard to do, it’s actually really simple and will instantly reduce your impact on the planet.
10. Switch to a reusable coffee cup
In 2017, ABC TV’s War On Waste program showed us the extremes of our single-use plastic addiction by filling a Melbourne tram with 50,000 disposable coffee cups — the number Australians were using in just 30 minutes each day. It’s still a confronting image today. Simply by switching to a reusable coffee cup, and taking it with you every day, you can help greatly reduce waste sent to landfills.
Where to sign up?
Sign up at earthhour.org.au, to help make a difference to our planet and go in the running to win return flights and a seven-day trip to North Queensland for two with Intrepid Travel.