Having started in march 2007 in Sydney, Australia, Earth Hour has become one of the world’s largest grassroots movements for the environment. And though we find ourselves in a peculiar moment in human history amidst the COVID-19 crisis, which puts a particular spin on how to go about Earth Hour, this might in fact be the most important and strangely fitting moments to commemorate the occasion. Here’s a few ideas on how to take part in Earth Hour 2020 and raise your voice for nature.
Turn off your lights for 1hr at 8.30pm your local time
As a symbolic action, at least partially expressing a commitment to using less energy, the cumulative effect of this action can actually be quite large, so if you can in any way, please do take part in this basic action around which the idea of Earth Hour came to be on Saturday evening.
On the Earth Hour website you can find a list of 20 things you can do for and during Earth Hour. In slight difference to some of the suggestions there though, I would like to suggest that you do not take part in online events, but turn off all electric device and go off the internet entirely for the hour. In our current situation, all of us are nearly constantly on the internet, bombarding each other with all sorts of stuff, so my suggestion is to use it as
Filip Maric (PhD)
PT, EPA Founder
Filip Maric is a physiotherapist and researcher interested in the outer rims of healthcare and physiotherapy, practical philosophy, ethics, #EnviroPT, planetary health and sea kayaking.
A time to pause, rest, and be kind to yourself.
If you want to do something meaningful for the planet from the comfort of your home prior to Earth Hour 2020, you can also add your Voice for the Planet and pledge to one or two actions to improve sustainability in your daily life. Improving the way we treat this planet and our non-human co-inhabitants is ultimately the only thing that will help prevent future situations like our current one. And if you are a physiotherapy student and want to ensure that this kind of long-range thinking and practice for prevention also becomes ingrained in your future profession, you can of course also add your Voice for your Education here.
On the night of Earth Hour however, while healthcare workers and people in many other essential roles have to keep working even on a Saturday evening at 8.30pm, many of simply do not have to do anything during that time. So we could actually really effectively do something for the good of people and planet by doing a little less, even if just for an hour.
Nice ways to pause (away from our phones, tablets and other devices) might be to turn on some candles and use the candle light to read a book, play some music or games with your loved ones, or just have a conversation.
You might however also want to go deeper and do some silent meditation. There might even be some mourning and sadness, for our current COVID-19 situation, but maybe also for our broader planetary predicament. And that is ok too. There are many reasons to be deeply distraught these days and it’s ok to sometimes let ourselves feel that. Sometimes that is just what we need to change this around, come out of it, and eventually feel better again. So why not use this Earth Hour to do so, before we return to the even crazier hustle and bustle of the internet these days.
Paradoxically, we are seeing many signs of how important doing nothing, or just less, is for our own health and wellbeing, as well as that of our planet. At the moment we simply need to hold tight in our homes (those of us who can anyway) to ensure the health of as many of us as we possibly can. But in many ways we are also seeing that doing less is also exactly what nature requires of us in order to get some much deserved rest and respite, and recover. So why don’t we give ourselves and our planet an extra dose of just that this Saturday evening at 8.30pm (your local time).