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Earth Hour 2020: Global well-being in the time of COVID-19

By - Nisha Joshi

The world celebrates ‘Earth Hour’ this year on 28th March 2020 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm(your local time). This time, while we are trapped in lockdown or similar self-isolation, one realizes it’s grassroots significance. This year, the world faces a pandemic. One, that is unlike anything ever seen before. The whole world has come together as one in solidarity to face this viral infection. So, in this situation when we are fighting together to curb the virus, let’s inform ourselves by knowing more about ‘Earth Hour’.

Earth Hour: A global ‘Lights Out’ journey

The very first Earth Hour was unofficially celebrated in Sydney, Australia in 2007. What started as an impromptu call for ‘lights out’ on landmark sites such as the Sydney museum and Sydney Harbour Bridge, turned into a global phenomenon in a matter of days. Iconic structures of Toronto, San Francisco, and Rome participated in the global call to raise awareness on preservation of the earth. About 20 million people celebrated the ‘Lights Out’ event that year and the number has only increased since then.This phenomenon became an annual movement that began to be celebrated on the last Saturday of March. This year, Earth Hour is going ‘Digital’.

How does one celebrate ‘Earth Hour’ Digitally?

Everyone knows the impact of Coronavirus and the huge global tally of infected people under its belt. According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center more than 600,000 people have tested positive for Coronavirus globally. So, this year when you turn off all the lights in your area, you can come online and pledge to become a voice of reason in the fight to conserve and save our planet. One can join any organization, or support a community.

 According to experts, 2020 is a turn-key year for us. Hard decisions taken this year shall play a significant role in sustainability laws for future generations to come.  WWF (World Wildlife Fund) has expressed that several countries are prepared to organize Earth Hour virtually. This shall ensure public safety and show solidarity for those affected by Coronavirus in the world. 
Moreover, environmentalists, celebrities, and political leaders have and will pledge their support online for nature and people.

What can one do during Earth Hour?

Due to the lockdown in many places, travel is restricted. This has resulted in a refreshed earth! Dolphins were spotted along the coast of Mumbai, India. Fishes were seen in the canals of Venice. Air Quality (AQ) has improved in Beijing, China. Needless to say, the night sky too has a lot of brilliance to offer and that can now be experienced much clearly than before.

On the night of 28th March 2020, with reduced light pollution, 3 stars of the Orion’s Belt (Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka) will be visible with the naked eye. A set of binoculars do help, and a telescope makes everything visually spectacular.The brightest star in the night sky, Sirius will shine bright in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Watch a detailed video here about Earth Hour

Earth Hour: All hours, Every day

People-led initiatives around the world like Earth Hour are vital to inspire awareness on the importance of nature and prompt action to help deliver a ‘nature positive world’ by the end of the decade. How you spend your Earth Hour will determine the future of the generations ahead. 


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