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Living Lightly column

Switch off lights, switch on to sustainability

By Tess Middleton, Fin Free Albury Wodonga

The lights are out but everybody’s home, it must be Earth Hour!

At 8.30pm on Saturday March 30, 2019 (AEST) hundreds of millions of individuals and thousands of businesses, in more than 180 countries, will be switching off to switch on to sustainability.

For sixty minutes on this date, communities and businesses turn off their lights and switch off their appliances in a symbol of commitment to our planet, to celebrate sustainability and stand in solidarity, expressing their support for tactics aimed at solving the issue of global warming.

This annual event began in Sydney in 2007, where 2.2 million homes and businesses took part in the first lights out movement.

In 2018 there were more than 250 ambassadors and influential personalities campaigning for Earth Hour, including Al Gore and the United Nations, almost 18,000 landmarks and monuments switched off their lights across 24 time zones and 188 countries and territories, including Australia, Paris, Nairobi and Indonesia.

This year the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) invites us to come together to protect our environment; there are plenty of ways to get involved, the simplest way is simply to switch off for an hour, stargaze or light some candles and play your favourite board game – Monopoly anyone?!

You can also visit the WWF website to see what events are being held and to register your participation.

Now it wouldn’t be an event without a hashtag to go with it, so you can show the world how much you love the Earth by using the hashtag #Connect2Earth, proving that 60 minutes without lights is actually super easy.

WWF has said Earth Hour was created to raise awareness and long-term efforts to save energy so tell your family and friends to get involved or come together and make a night of it!

Even after Earth Hour, there are numerous ways you can help reduce your carbon footprint; here are some of the easiest;

  • Switch off / unplug appliances when not in use
  • Carpool to work, walk instead of driving wherever possible, catch public transport
  • Buy local and organic produce, even grow your own!
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle
  • Replacing regular lightbulbs with LED bulbs.