Earth Hour 2014

image: Earth Hour Starter Kit
image: Earth Hour Starter Kit

The stars may look a little brighter this weekend. This Saturday, March 29, at 8:30pm, people around the world will be switching off the lights for the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour, a global movement celebrating our commitment to the planet, promoting awareness of our environmental impact, and also translating that heightened awareness into action. The 2014 participants include landmarks and buildings, cities, colleges and universities, businesses, organizations, and individuals in over 150 countries.

The first Earth Hour took place in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Since then, Earth Hour has become one of the world’s largest voluntary environmental actions, with more than 7,000 cities and towns worldwide participating. New this year, Earth Hour also includes Earth Hour Blue, a crowdfunding platform for sustainability and conservation projects and environmental campaigns, including:

Help Canada Go Renewable
Help Canada say goodbye to planet-warming fossil fuels. Fund our project to create a detailed map of renewable resources across the country—wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass—and set Canada on the path to 100% renewable energy.

Restore the Roodeberg
Our vision is to expand and conserve the iconic Table Mountain National Park, by consolidating the whole of the Roodeberg into the Park. This will open up previously restricted and mismanaged land to hikers, runners, dog walkers and horse riders while ensuring that the land with its diverse and unique species is restored and conserved for both present and future generations. Join us as we campaign to restore the Roodeberg for the public and for its own protection.

LightsOFF, AmazON
We are asking you to invest in the world’s largest air, water and life producer; the first and only factory that does not pollute and benefits everyone: the Amazon Factory. But this is not just any ordinary investment—it is an investment toward a living planet with a sustainable return.

Saving Forests and Families in Madagascar
The goal of our campaign is to raise the funds needed to make 4,000 highly efficient woodstoves available for people in Toliara, the primary city of Southwestern Madagascar, by the end of 2014. These stoves, known locally as a Fatana Mitsitsy, are a crucial element in a larger programme of sustainable energy access for the region, which, if successful, can be expanded across the country.

A recent article by Zadie Smith for The New York Review of Books might be a good pre-Earth Hour read. In “Elegy for a Country’s Seasons,” Smith describes the quotidian “minor losses” that can already be felt as a result of climate change, and imagines how she might justify our frustratingly slow and fragmented response to these changes to her granddaughter in 2050, when “things could begin to get truly serious.

So get ready to dim the lights for Earth Hour, and here’s to hoping we can shift the course of the future enough so that an elegy for the earth need not be written by future generations.

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