Lights out for Earth Hour

Global campaign asks people to switch off lights for 60 minutes this Saturday to show support for the planet

Lit candles with WWF logo. Candle _2©Juan Carlos Del Olmo WWF-Spain and Polar bear sitting on an ice floe in the Arctic Ocean, Svalbard, Norway

Keep your fingers near the light switch at 8.30pm your local time on Saturday – that’s when this year’s Earth Hour begins, your chance to show you take a dim view of climate change and support efforts to protect the planet.

Now in its tenth year, Earth Hour is the brainchild of the conservation group WWF. The campaign asks people around the world to switch off their lights for a single hour to demonstrate their commitment to protecting the environment and to send a signal to governments that they must do more to curb harmful greenhouse gas emissions – a major cause of which is livestock farming for meat and dairy.

Britons are being asked to celebrate this very special 60 minutes in a variety of unilluminating ways, such as night walks by torchlight, stargazing, a communal event or simply sitting in a darkened room listening to some of the world’s best live music – musicians are being asked to broadcast sets via Facebook using the hashtag #EarthHourLive. A candlelit meat free dinner would be ideal, signalling your environmental awareness with an absence of light and the presence of a delicious low-carbon meal.

However you choose to mark Earth Hour, millions of like-minded people will be doing exactly the same. Last year people in 178 countries took part, more than 6 million of them in the UK, including children from 4,800 schools and youth groups.

In previous years some of the world’s most iconic buildings have been plunged into darkness to show solidarity with efforts to protect the planet, including Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, the Taj Mahal, the Parthenon in Athens, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building.

When you have a lightbulb moment about the best way to spend Earth Hour, sign up at earthhour.wwf.org.uk and add your name to an interactive map showing what’s on in your area. And don’t forget to buy some candles.