Making Earth Hour Count

By Aislinn Redbond, posted 24/03/21

Join us for WWF's annual Earth Hour Campaign

Edinburgh Castle during Earth Hour, where households and landmarks are encouraged to turn off their lights in order to show support for climate action across the world.

This Saturday March 27th 2021, millions of people will turn off their lights between 8.30pm and 9.30pm local time as part of WWF’s annual ‘Earth Hour’ campaign.

Now in its fourteenth year, Earth Hour was introduced as a worldwide hour of action to draw attention to the need for definitive action on climate and biodiversity issues. Since 2007, Earth Hour has come to symbolise more than a political act, but rather it is a symbol of connection with the planet. An international phenomenon, Earth Hour has spread to over 188 countries across the globe, with more than 17,900 landmarks turning their lights off in solidarity with the millions of households taking part in the initiative. Whilst Earth Hour is undoubtedly an important event in any activist’s calendar, how can we extend the impact of Earth Hour beyond 60 minutes.

Earth Hour has been a uniquely successful worldwide campaign for a number of reasons. The collective nature of the action means that there is a great sense of community around the event, so more people are willing to engage with it. The ease of turning off your lights is also successful because it is a relatively accessible action for many households to carry out, whilst feeling worthwhile for the environment. It has become an opportunity for friends and families to gather and get creative with activities and games in the dark, although this year we are reminded to follow local COVID-19 guidance and participate virtually instead. Even still, Earth Hour remains a prominent reminder of the need for climate action, engaging huge numbers of people every year.

Drawing on the lessons from Earth Hour, we see how important it is to feel supported in our climate activism, which is something we are passionate about at Shrub Coop. Building a community is pivotal to ensuring any movement survives and thrives, as new people not only feel welcomed, but seasoned activists can also feel sustained. Earth Hour also highlights the impact of small, incremental change. For many of us, getting involved in climate activism or embracing zero waste lifestyles can feel slightly overwhelming as we feel we have to change everything in our lives in order to be a “worthy” member. However, for many people who try to dive headfirst into any new lifestyle or form of activism, they end up feeling demoralised and one mistake can lead them to giving up altogether. Instead, it is helpful to focus on small actions which we can be built upon over time. Every step has an impact, and at Shrub we believe in making little changes as a community can help to build a world without waste over time.

Perhaps this Saturday 27th March when you turn off your lights for Earth Hour, you can focus on a new habit or action that you want to engage with to contribute to the fight against the climate crisis. It does not have to be something drastic, in fact it is better to pick something small to start with. Maybe you can try cycling more (with Wee Spoke Hub here for all your bicycle needs), or you might look into purchasing more secondhand clothing instead of fast fashion going forwards (check out our swap shop, available on Depop during lockdown for some amazing sustainable fashion finds!). Whatever action you choose to pursue, you can always speak to us at Shrub for advice and support on your journey. We may not have all the answers, but we want to encourage as many people as we can to make changes for themselves and for the planet.

SHRUB Coop is supported through a combination of grant funding and generous donations from our community. We’re grateful for all their support. Find out more about our grant funders by clicking on the logos above.