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What is Earth Hour 2022 and how does the event help the planet?

Find out the date of the WWF event and how to get involved – plus, does it actually help the environment?

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

Climate change is something most of us can now get behind, but sometimes it can be difficult to know how to help. That’s where Earth Hour comes in: this annual global event aims to raise awareness both of the cause and of the little things we can do to help reverse the effects of global warming. So, what is it and what actually happens? Here’s everything you need to know about Earth Hour 2022.

What is Earth Hour 2022?

Earth Hour 2022 is an event run by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to raise awareness of the climate crisis. The premise is pretty simple: since 2007, people across the world have turned out their lights for one hour on the last Saturday in March. It’s a symbolic gesture that aims to ‘increase awareness and spark global conversations on protecting nature’.

When is Earth Hour 2022?

The event takes place on Saturday March 26, between 8.30pm and 9.30pm. People are encouraged to take part by switching off all non-essential lights during that period to show their support for nature and the climate. 

What happens during Earth Hour 2022?

That’s up to you. If you’re taking part, the WWF recommends using the hour to reconnect with nature, cook an environmentally-sound meal or just spend some quality time with friends and family. There’s even an official Earth Hour Spotify playlist you can listen to. If you’re looking for something more challenging, you could use the time to log your details on the My Footprint app, which calculates the environmental impact of your daily habits (and suggests ways to improve them, too). The charity is also running a series of online and in-person events you can join, including storytelling in the dark and worksheets for children. Find out more here

What is Earth Hour 2022 trying to solve?

Earth Hour is trying to solve the issue of climate change by bringing it to the attention of government, businesses and individuals. The gesture is supposed to demonstrate how many people across the world care about the environment, and shift policy in the right direction. 

Marco Lambertini, the director-general of WWF International, said: ‘Whether it is a decline in pollinators, fewer fish in the ocean and rivers, disappearing forests or the wider loss of biodiversity, the evidence is mounting that nature is in free fall.

‘This is because of the way we live our lives and run our economies. Protecting nature is our moral responsibility but losing it also increases our vulnerability to pandemics, accelerates climate change and threatens our food security.’

How does Earth Hour 2022 help the environment?

The impact of Earth Hour is hard to measure, as it’s more about awareness than tangible change. There have been some concrete connected changes, though: in 2013, an ‘Earth Hour Forest’ was launched by WWF Uganda to restore 2,700 hectares of degraded land. And in Shanghai, ‘solar trees’ have been set up across the city which allow the public to charge their phones with renewable energy. A 2014 study looked at energy usage across ten countries during Earth Hour, and found it dropped by an average of 4 percent.

The event still has its detractors, though. Environmentalist Bjørn Lomborg
 has described Earth Hour as an ‘ineffective feel-good event’, while a spokesperson from the UK’s National Grid said that turning electricity off and on over a short period of time can actually increase emissions. We reckon that if you’re looking to take part in Earth Hour, it’s probably best to twin it with something more impactful, too. 

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