By Jenny Edengard
The global Earth Hour event falls on Saturday, March 28, from 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. During Earth Hour, which is organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), participants are asked to switch of all lights for an hour. Since 2007, Earth Hour has been held on the last Saturday in March.
Earth Hour is a lights-off event that started in Sydney, Australia, and has attracted more and more members around the globe every year. Their goal is to raise awareness of our energy usages and to attain greater energy efficiency. In addition, they want to raise consciousness of climate changes in the long run.
On the WWF website, Earth Hour is described as a symbolic celebration to engage a mass audience to stand behind environmental issues in a positive, hopeful, and inspirational way.
In 2014, 162 countries and territories participated, according to the WWF website, with 60 of those countries participating for a longer period of time, beyond the hour. Over 7,000 cities and towns participated, therefore achieving the greatest participation since the event started in 2007.
In 2014, Earth Hour became the world’s largest mass participation event in history. Hundreds of millions of people turned the lights off, all from individuals, organizations, corporations and governments. According to CBS New York, the Las Vegas’ strip, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building in New York City all switched off last year.
Earth Hour is set to start at 8:30 p.m local time around the globe. Because it is near the time that both hemispheres simultaneously have sunset, it creates a bigger visual impact.
In the U.K. in 2014, two million students across 4,600 schools learned about Earth Hour, according to WWF. In the U.S., 11 Colleges and Universities have signed up to join the movement at WWF website. Some of the schools include, Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Penn., Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Cali., and Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
Therese Lydsdottir, a senior International Relations major, thinks the event is a good initiative. “It is a cozy experience, I let my lights stay off for longer than an hour,” she said.
Dr. Scott Carlin, professor of Geography and the Chair of the Sustainability Committee, said that Earth Hour is a great project.
“I hope some dorms takes this up as an event,” he said, explaining that the sustainability committee on campus is looking to broaden their green programs on campus for next year’s Earth Hour. “hopefully we will have more participants on campus.”
A few LIU Post students have shut their lights off before. “I participated last year, in the dorms. I used the time to meditate and pray in my room,” said Jeremiah Aviles, a junior Childhood Education major.
The event is not organized on campus, but students can participate in groups or individually. To learn more about this year’s Earth Hour on March 28, visit www.earthhour.org.