Earth Hour is a global movement that brings people together to call for greater action on climate change – with millions turning their lights out for 60 minutes, and millions of others taking part in different ways.
Beginning in 2007, Earth Hour has grown into a significant event in our calendars. Governments show their support by turning off the lights at major attractions like the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh Castle.
On an individual level, WWF encourages us to ‘Make a Promise for Earth Hour’, and so far over 33,000 promises have been made. The charity recommends promises such as reusing plastic cutlery, using a reusable cup, washing at 30°C or even more substantial promises, including buying an electric vehicle.
More inventively, the WWF has come up with 60 things to do in the dark to encourage people to turn their lights off during Earth Hour.
The campaign demonstrates an exceptional ability to bring people together around a simple, unifying cause. It shows that, collectively, small acts can have a truly substantial impact – both short and long-term.
I’ve picked out some points from the campaign that I think are great examples for the charity sector:
- Its range of promises allows individuals to support the campaign at a level they feel comfortable with – they don’t just offer one price point!
- The WWF has secured corporate support, with washing powder brand Ariel donating £1 for every promise made. This gives individuals even more incentive to join in, and substantially boosts the impact of the campaign.
- WWF is clearly outlining the need for its campaign by providing information on the ‘Planet in Crisis’.
- The campaign is cleverly linked to the wider work and objectives of the charity – WWF provides simple and clear information about how the charity is helping to fix climate challenges.
- Recognising that the event will last only an hour, the WWF has a long-term engagement strategy by giving those interested a range of ideas on what to do after Earth Hour, such as becoming a WWF member or making a lifestyle change (you can even calculate your environmental footprint).
Earth Hour has all the hallmarks of great campaign, and above all else it has fun and community at its heart.
As we move beyond the Spring Equinox, now is a perfect time to make conscious decisions about how we can take positive action for the climate – on an individual, community, national and global level. With Earth Day also taking place on the 22nd of April, there is no better time to get involved with environmental charities.
What do you think about the campaign? Will your charity or organisation be getting involved this year? Tweet us @OfficialCause4 to let us know!