Earth Hour is the world’s biggest grassroots movement for the environment. This year the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is shining a light on one of the most challenging issue of our times – climate change.
We know that awareness leads to action and action leads to change which is why we are throwing down the gauntlet to all South Africans to take individual or group actions that collectively translate into meaningful impact.
Getting involved is easy. Just visit the Earth Hour platform on the WWF website and state how you intend to play your part in addressing climate change. To make it even simpler, the pledge platform allows for commitments to be made under one of four categories: food, energy, water and waste.
Food, energy and water are the three essentials we need to survive and thrive. However, each of these is under pressure in the face of a changing climate. This pressure is exacerbated by our waste management, including the more than 9 million tonnes of food that is thrown away each year.
As individuals, it is easy to get discouraged by the scale of the problem, but the fact is that if thousands of individuals make everyday changes, the positive effect will be felt. This is the power of Earth Hour.
“Collective action is effective and inspiring. The switch off of lights, which this year happens from 8:30-9:30pm on Saturday, 19 March 2016, is a simple act which symbolises unity and a common desire for change. We call on all South Africans to take part,” says Morné du Plessis, CEO of WWF South Africa.
Across the world, Earth Hour has inspired hundreds of millions of individuals and organisations in more than 7 000 cities and towns in more than 170 countries and territories. Join the movement today by shining a light on climate action.
- Buy seasonal and local instead of imported goods or, hey, why not grow your own?
- Become a SASSI consumer by buying only green-listed fish.
- Think differently about meat and dairy. Try going meat-free for one day a week
- Cut down your food waste. WWF’s recently completely beef life cycle analysis found that to produce 1 kg of steak requires 2 000 litres of water
- Say cheers to green wine by supporting WWF Conservation Champion wine estates.
- Buy a home energy monitor and place it in the kitchen where it’s always visible – you’ll be amazed how your behaviour changes when you can see what’s driving up your bill
- Turn off appliances at the wall. Cell phone chargers, shavers and electric toothbrushes all use power when plugged in
- Warming the ol’ geyser is your biggest home energy user – save 40% on your usage by switching off during the day and reducing the temperature particularly in summer
- Go solar and save your wallet from skyrocketing electricity costs
- Buy energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs and use electricity wisely
- Use less fuel by walking, cycling or using public transport where possible – it’ll probably save you a fortune on gym fees too
- Flush less or use less water when you do
- Save up to 9 litres of water by turning off the tap while brushing your teeth
- Take a quick 5 minute shower – baths can use up to 100 litres of water
- Plant a water-wise garden with indigenous drought-resistant plants and water your garden after 6pm
- Fix leaky taps. Even a slow dripping tap can waste 30 litres a day
- Ditch the bottled water – it takes three litres of tap water to make one litre of bottled water
- Start composting, it makes for amazing fertiliser
- Recycle. Recycle. Recycle. Put separate containers for paper, glass and plastics in your kitchen or garage and start dividing your waste
- Create beauty through upcycling. The options are limitless, let your imagination take flight
- Think before you buy, it’s better not to consume raw materials
- Make your own planet beautiful fashion statement; hem your skirts, dye your shirts, swop with friends, don’t buy into the marketing for “this season’s must-haves”
- Reduce your food wastage and prevent landfill waste that pumps methane into our atmosphere
Spread the message
Switching of the lights is a visible symbol of your pledge, but the Earth Hour team is also encouraging corporates and individuals help spread the Earth Hour message by sharing their climate action stories on the website.