FAQs

Celebrating Earth Hour

  1. What is Earth Hour?

    Earth Hour is a worldwide grassroots movement uniting people to protect the planet, and is organised by WWF. Engaging a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues, Earth Hour was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide, and the one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the now larger movement.

  2. What is Earth Hour Blue?

    Earth Hour Blue is an all-new digital crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the planet launched in 2014 to capture the power of the crowd and engage people around the world beyond the lights out event. The crowdfunding section of the platform allows participants to financially support and deliver positive, tangible changes to the environment and communities all over the world. Individuals can also use Earth Hour Blue’s crowdsourcing platform, which will call for people to add their voice to some of the biggest environmental campaigns across the world.

  3. When does Earth Hour take place?

    Earth Hour 2014 will be held on Saturday 29 March between 8.30PM and 9.30PM in your local time zone. The event is held worldwide towards the end of March annually, encouraging individuals, communities households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. Earth Hour 2015 will take place on Saturday, 28 of March at 8:30PM to 9:30PM in your local timezone.

  4. What does Earth Hour aim to achieve?

    Earth Hour aims to encourage an interconnected global community to share the opportunities and challenges of creating a sustainable world.

  5. What does Earth Hour ask people to do?

    The first thing anyone can do to get involved is to turn off their lights on Saturday. But there’s much, much more. But our full ambition is for people to take action beyond the hour. Whether it’s supporting a crowdfunding or crowdsroucing campaign on www.earthhour.org or getting involved in Earth Hour campaigns in their own country, or starting the movement in their own community. The vision is always to do more, so make the light switch the beginning of your journey.

  6. How long has Earth Hour been going for?

    The first Earth Hour event was on March 31 2007. WWF-Australia inspired Sydney-siders to show their support for climate change action. More than 2.2 million individuals and 2,000 businesses turned their lights out for one hour in the first Earth Hour event.

    Earth Hour 2014 will mark the eighth year of the campaign.

  7. Is Earth Hour an annual event?

    Earth Hour is more than annual event – it is a movement that culminates in an hour of inspiration across the world held towards the end of March each year. 

  8. What exactly has Earth Hour achieved before launching Earth Hour Blue?

    • WWF Uganda started the world’s first Earth Hour Forest
    • More than 250,000 Russians voiced support for better protection of their country’s seas and forests
    • Argentina used its 2013 Earth Hour campaign to help pass a Senate bill for a 3.4 million hectare Marine Protected Area in the country
    • Thousands of wood-saving stoves were distributed to families in Madagascar
    • Solar-powered lights were installed in three villages without electricity in India
    • In Paraguay, WWF used the Earth Hour platform to build public support to gain an extension of the logging moratorium, helping to reduce deforestation
    • Education programs for schools were launched in Thailand and Taiwan
    • Hundreds of thousands of LED lights were installed by girl scouts in the USA
    • More than 2123 mitigation actions submitted by Earth Hour City Challenge 2014 participating cities

    But this is just the start, there’s so many more Earth Hour stories out there we’re still discovering, and of course much more to do.

  9. Back to the event. Isn't switching the lights off dangerous? What about public safety?

    Earth Hour only asks people to turn off the non-essential lights for one hour - not lights that affect public safety. Earth Hour is also a celebration of the planet so it’s important to enjoy the moment in a safe environment.

  10. What lights can be safely switched off?

    That is a decision that has to be made individually but usually the overhead lights in rooms (whether it is your house or a business), outdoor lighting that does not impact safety, decorative lights, neon signs for advertising, televisions, desk lamps, the list goes on and on.

    There are a few lights we can say with certainty that should NOT be turned off, including safety lights in public spaces, lights for aviation guidance, traffic lights, security lights, just to name a few. We ask people to use common sense. Before you turn off any lights for public spaces, Earth Hour recommends you check with local officials or community centres.

    In your own home, use common sense with respect to safety. Keep small night lights on for basic safety especially in halls and on stairs. Make sure you have alternative light sources handy before Earth Hour starts, like torches or flashlights. That way if you need to see, you have a light source close at hand, and you can still respect the spirit of Earth Hour and keep yourself and your family safe.

  11. What candles should I use for my Earth Hour event?

    If you plan on burning candles during Earth Hour, make sure you use 100% beeswax candles or soy candles, which are gentler on our planet - smoke free, non-toxic and non-allergenic. They are also made of natural products, not petroleum-based materials, so they are effectively carbon neutral (the CO2 they emit has already been taken from the atmosphere to produce the wax). Many communities are now replacing candles with LED lights for their event, as a way to promote energy efficient lighting - a key for any sustainable future. If you're using candles, though, make sure you take care. We suggest you carefully follow these tips:

    1. Candles should only be used under adult supervision
    2. Candles should never be left unattended
    3. Candles should be kept away from children and pets
    4. Extinguish candles before going to sleep
    5. Keep candles away from flammable liquids and gas-combustible materials
    6. Candles should be kept clear of any combustible materials such as paper, curtains and clothing
    7. Candles should not be placed in windows as they can be blown over. Blinds and curtains can also catch alight
    8. Candles should be placed on a stable, dry, heat-resistant surface away from drafts
  12. What is Earth Hour’s position on technology?

    Earth Hour embraces technology to spread the message of positive environmental action across the world, and to replace more inefficient means of living our lives. Technology is key to a sustainable future that is aspirational. From LED lights, to hybrid vehicles, to developing replacements for unsustainable use of resources  - Earth Hour has thrived off the back of the development in digital technology.   

  13. Will my city go completely black during the event?

    Earth Hour is not a black out. It is a voluntary action by its participants to show their commitment to an act of change that benefits the planet. For many businesses in city skyscrapers or for many government buildings, the lights are turned off at the end of the business day the Friday before Earth Hour. So Earth Hour is more of a fade-out in some ways than a black out. There is usually no instant dramatic difference, but rather a gradual dimming of lights starting the day prior. Many major icons and neon signs are switched off for the hour and they are extremely noticeable. You may be able to see dramatic changes in large business districts or at iconic landmarks and buildings around the world and in your city.

  14. If everyone turns their lights back on at the same time will there be a power surge?

    People celebrate Earth Hour in a variety of ways for different lengths of time, with many continuing to keep their lights off well beyond the designated hour. After eight years, it’s clear everyone will not switch back on his or her lights simultaneously.

  15. Why is Earth Hour the event held in late March?

    The second-to-last and last weekend of March is around the time of the Spring and Autumn equinoxes in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively, which allows for near coincidental sunset times in both hemispheres, thereby ensuring the greatest visual impact for a global ‘lights out’ event. Earth Hour 2014 will be held on Saturday 29 March between 8.30PM and 9.30PM in your local time zone.

  16. How many cities/countries/landmarks took part in Earth Hour 2013?

    Earth Hour 2013 took place in more than 7001 cities and towns in 154 countries and territories across all seven continents. Hundreds of millions of people switched their lights off for an hour, and the campaign experienced its biggest growth since 2009. There were around 3395 landmarks that participated.

  17. What does a commitment to Earth Hour mean?

    By registering for Earth Hour 2014, individuals, communities and businesses are making a commitment to turn their lights off for an hour at 8.30PM on Saturday 29 March in acknowledgement of an act they will undertake for the benefit of the planet. We hope that these individuals, communities and businesses will take action beyond the hour through Earth Hour Blue.

  18. Who can participate?

    Earth Hour is a campaign for anyone and everyone who wants to share a commitment to make this planet better.

  19. How can I do more for Earth Hour than just switching off my lights?

    You can fund a project or add your voice to support projects anywhere around the world on Earth Hour Blue.

  20. What energy/carbon reductions have resulted from Earth Hour in previous years?

    Earth hour does not claim that the event is an energy or carbon reduction exercise - it is a symbolic action. Therefore, we do not engage in the measurement of energy or carbon reduction levels. Earth Hour is an initiative to encourage individuals, businesses and governments around the world to take accountability for their ecological footprint and engage in dialogue and resource exchange that provides real solutions to our environmental challenges. Participation in Earth Hour symbolises a commitment to change beyond the hour.

  21. Aren't you using a lot of electricity and resources to promote this event?

    Earth Hour takes every effort to minimise our footprint, not just for the hour but also all year round. Earth Hour Global has a core team of just nine people based in Singapore and relies on a dispersed open-sourced model, meaning that the movement is run locally through WWF and communities all over the world.

    All of Earth Hour Global’s emissions are offset and the campaign embraces digital technology to minimise the usage of natural resources and to spread our message.

  22. Earth Hour is advertised all over the world. Does Earth Hour pay for this advertising?

    Earth Hour Global secures millions of dollars of free advertising space with the help of partners such as Starcom, Discovery Networks International and many others. Earth Hour Global does not spend any money on paid advertising space. Earth Hour’s advice to teams around the world running local campaigns is to only seek either pro-bono or if absolutely necessary, low-bono advertising space.

  23. Whose idea was Earth Hour?

    Earth Hour came from a think tank initiated by Earth Hour CEO and Co-Founder, Andy Ridley, resulting in the formation of a partnership between WWF Australia, Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media to address the climate change issue.

    In 2007, there was still a degree of scepticism and denial about the issue of climate change. Earth Hour came as the inspiration to rally people to the reality of climate change and start a dialogue about what we as individuals can do to help address the greatest problem facing our planet today. Leo Burnett partnered with WWF to promote the idea and help make the campaign a reality in Sydney, a campaign which has now gone beyond climate change to symbolise the growing global pursuit of a better, healthier world.

    Read more about Andy Ridley’s story.

  24. What is Earth Hour’s relationship with WWF?

    Earth Hour is an initiative of WWF.  In 2007, WWF initiated Earth Hour a way of engaging a broad section of society in the environmental issues challenging citizens across the world. WWF embraced the idea of an open sourced campaign that would allow communities and organisations to become part of a global movement to protect out planet.

  25. Do you have requirements or regulations about who can or cannot partner with Earth Hour?

    Any partner must uphold and support the aims and principles of Earth Hour. These include encouraging individual and community engagement on environmental issues. Encouraging conscious decisions to change the way we live in order to affect environmental reform, without the use of scare tactics or shaming. The specific decisions about whether or not to partner with a group or corporation are made at local level by Earth Hour country and city teams based on what suits their needs and community in achieving the goals of Earth Hour.

  26. Does Earth Hour welcome the support of other NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) and NFP's (Not for Profits)?

    Absolutely. In fact, the success of Earth Hour would not be possible without the support of other NGOs and NFPs. Global organisations such as the World Organisation of the Scout Movement and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts have been pivotal in spreading the Earth Hour message, while in some countries where there is no WWF presence, Earth Hour campaigns are orchestrated entirely by other NGOs and NFPs.

  27. What does the Earth Hour logo mean?

    The standard Earth Hour '60' logo represents the 60 minutes of Earth Hour where we focus on the impact we are having on our planet and take positive action to address the environmental issues we face. For Earth Hour 2011 the ‘60+’ logo was introduced representing a commitment to add to Earth Hour a positive act for the planet that goes beyond the hour. Take up the ‘plus’ and get involved with Earth Hour Blue.

  28. Why is Spider-Man Earth Hour’s ambassador in 2014?

    Earth Hour and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ (TASM2), distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment, are encouraging people across the world to become superheroes for the planet with a simple call to action: “Use Your Power at earthhour.org”.

    The partnership will allow us to reach an even broader section of society to spread the Earth Hour message, which is an approach that has allowed the movement to grow to the position it is in today.

    Key to the partnership is that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the most eco-friendly blockbuster produced by Sony Pictures.

    Sony Pictures will offset 4,000 tonnes of carbon through WWF-China’s Gold Standard Verified ‘Energy Efficient Stoves To Protect The Giant Panda” project; and these carbon offsets have rendered the entire physical production of the film, as well as well as the appearance and activities of the film’s cast, producers and director for Earth Hour events, completely carbon-neutral.

    The film’s stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and director Marc Webb are also each lending their support to a different crowdfunding project on Earth Hour Blue, as a way to engage individuals to act beyond the hour.

    Spider-Man is Earth Hour’s first superhero ambassador, epitomising the power of the individual and inspiring his fans to become superheroes for the planet.

    We want every fan of Spider-Man to walk away knowing they can do something to protect the planet. Earth Hour is a movement for people illustrate their support, and Earth Hour Blue is the place they can get involved.

    To see more about the eco-friendly practices for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8DbnRFtKbo

Crowdfunding FAQs

  1. What is crowdfunding?

    Crowdfunding is a platform that gives people the opportunity to raise funds for their projects. Earth Hour Blue is the world’s first crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the planet. We support and give voice to pro-planet projects and campaigns.

  2. What is the difference between crowdsourcing and crowdfunding?

    Crowdfunding is when a group of people get together and invest small amount of money to support a campaign. Crowdsourcing encourages people to support a project or campaign without using capital.

  3. What does this aim to achieve?

    Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding gives you the power to inspire anyone, even if you’re just one person. There are great projects happening all over the world, and every dollar, every voice can make that difference.

  4. Can I create a crowdfunding campaign?

    At the moment, only WWF campaigns are hosted on our website.

  5. How do I contribute?

    To make a contribution to a campaign, click on ‘Back This Project Today’ at the bottom of the campaign page. You will then be asked to verify your contribution amount and reward before going to the payment page.

  6. If I make a contribution, when am I charged?

    If you select Paypal, you will be redirected to the Paypal site to confirm the transaction. For VISA or MasterCard, you will be asked to fill in your credit card details and be taken to their respective sites to complete the transaction.

  7. What fees does Earth Hour charge?

    Earth Hour charges a 9.5% admin fee based on the gross contribution amount. This amount is for the technical maintenance of the Crowdfunding platform and all associated marketing and campaign management support

  8. Are there any other fees?

    In addition to the Crowdonomic administration fees, the payment providers will charge a transaction fee. Paypal will charge 2.9% + 0.50SGD for domestic transactions and 3.4% + 0.50SGD for international transactions

  9. Does it cost any money to list a Campaign on Earth Hour Blue?

    No, there are no listing fees

  10. What happens when a campaign does not reach its contribution target?

    The Campaign Creator will still be obliged to fulfill any obligations for rewards that have been claimed up to the deadline.

  11. Who can contribute to campaigns?

    Anyone who has a Paypal account, American Express Credit Card, VISA or MasterCard Credit Card can make a contribution.

  12. Can people outside Asia make contributions to campaigns?

    Yes - anyone who has a Paypal account, American Express Credit Card, VISA or MasterCard Credit Card can make a contribution.

  13. How do I change my profile information?

    Click the icon with your profile pic at the right hand side of the menu bar at the top. This will open a drop down menu where you will see an option for "Edit My Profile". This is where you can edit your profile information, social metrics, decide whether you want to hide or show the campaigns you are supporting and following and add links to your websites. After you have made your edits, you can then go to "View My Profile" to see how your profile will appear to other members.

  14. How do I unsubscribe/adjust the newsletter and notification settings?

    Go to "Modify Notifications". Here you can tick (activate) or un-tick (deactivate) the various notifications.

  15. I forgot my password, how do I log in?

    You can request a password reset at the bottom of the Login Page.

  16. How do I change my password?

    Go to "Change Password".

Crowdsourcing FAQs

  1. What is crowdsourcing?

    Crowdsourcing is the process of getting work or funding from a crowd of people, usually through the online community.

  2. What is the difference between crowdsourcing and crowdfunding?

    Crowdfunding is when a group of people get together and invest small amount of money to support a campaign. Crowdsourcing encourages people to support a project or campaign without using capital.

  3. What does this aim to achieve?

    Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding gives you the power to inspire anyone, even if you’re just one person. There are great projects happening all over the world, and every dollar, every voice can make that difference.

  4. Isn’t Earth Hour a one hour event?

    Earth Hour is more than annual event; however it culminates in an hour of inspiration held across the world towards the end of March each year.

    Earth Hour believes that the symbolism of the hour is incredibly important in bringing people and communities together across the globe. But our aspiration from the beginning was to go far beyond the hour itself.

    In 2012, Earth Hour launched I Will If You Will, a platform to incentivise and inspire individuals to share their commitment to the planet with their friends, colleagues, leaders and networks.

    Earth Hour also encourages and promotes many other initiatives around the world, including the Earth Hour City Challenge, the Earth Hour People’s Projects and many national and local actions that take the campaign beyond the hour.

    As of 2014, Earth Hour is supporting crowdfunding and crowdsourcing projects that benefit the planet.

  5. Who can participate?

    Anyone in the world with an Internet connection can participate on Earth Hour Blue’s crowdsourcing platform.

  6. What is Earth Hour’s relationship with the campaign organisers?

    For our launch year, we are only looking at crowdsourcing campaigns from the WWF network and chosen Earth Hour partners who we've worked with for a few years. Earth Hour shows how a global voice can affect a global or local outcome. 

  7. Where can we find Earth Hour on social media?

    Earth Hour uses social media to drive its campaign. Follow our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Google+Instagram, Pinterest and of course, the IWIYW campaign on YouTube.

  8. What is the Earth Hour City Challenge?

    With more than 70% of the world’s CO2 emissions generated by cities, the Earth Hour City Challenge has been created to reward pioneering cities that are leading the way towards a fully sustainable future. See more at EarthHour.org/CityChallenge In 2012, cities throughout Canada, India, Italy, Sweden and the United States will participate in the pilot challenge.

  9. How do cities win?

    An international jury will review all submissions outlining holistic, inspiring and credible city plans that increase the share of renewables in the city's energy systems. The Earth Hour City Challenge is not about having the most hi-tech plans or resources; it's about a commitment to innovative thinking and enacting solutions that create a greener and cleaner city for residents.

Earth Hour Blue

  1. What is Earth Hour Blue?

    Earth Hour Blue is an all-encompassing, global crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the planet. It is all about the collective effort of individuals around the world getting together to help fund or add their voice to support on-the-ground environmental and social projects that deliver real outcomes.

  2. Why is Earth Hour launching the platform?

    We didn’t start Earth Hour just to switch off the lights.

    It was a three-stage journey that began with a symbol (lights off), a moment to show that people can be connected behind the common purpose of protecting our planet. The next stage was to mobilise people to go beyond the hour and since then, we have seen extraordinary environmental outcomes.

    Earth Hour is now embarking on its final stage to bring together our global communities and give them a complete platform, to help raise funds and take action on environmental issues important to them.

    We call this Earth Hour Blue.

  3. What exactly has Earth Hour achieved before launching Earth Hour Blue?

    • WWF Uganda started the world’s first Earth Hour Forest
    • More than 250,000 Russians voiced support for better protection of their country’s seas and forests
    • Argentina used its 2013 Earth Hour campaign to help pass a Senate bill for a 3.4 million hectare Marine Protected Area in the country
    • Thousands of wood-saving stoves were distributed to families in Madagascar
    • Solar-powered lights were installed in three villages without electricity in India
    • In Paraguay, WWF used the Earth Hour platform to build public support to gain an extension of the logging moratorium, helping to reduce deforestation
    • Education programs for schools were launched in Thailand and Taiwan
    • Hundreds of thousands of LED lights were installed by girl scouts in the USA
    • More than 2123 mitigation actions submitted by Earth Hour City Challenge 2014 participating cities

    But this is just the start, there’s so many more Earth Hour stories out there we’re still discovering, and of course much more to do.

  4. What makes Earth Hour Blue unique from other crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platforms?

    Launched from the heart of a growing Asia, Earth Hour Blue is driving global innovation from Singapore and South East Asia.

    It’s a mixture of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing for the planet, and it’s using the world’s largest mass participation event to help engage a global mainstream community in environmental projects that also have a social impact.

  5. What crowdfunding projects are launching on Earth Hour Blue?

    We will begin with six WWF crowdfunding projects on February 13, 2014 and aim to have 30 projects in total before Earth Hour 2014. The six WWF projects we are launching are:

    • “Power Up A Ranger” – providing better equipment for WWF Rangers protecting Indonesia’s endangered wildlife and their forest habitat
    • “Energy Efficient Stoves to Protect the Habitat of the Giant Panda” in China
    • “Bancas for the Philippines” - bringing fibreglass boat technology to coastal communities ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan
    • “4000 Efficient Cook Stoves for Madagascar” – to provide more efficient cook stoves to families in the country to limit deforestation
    • “Lights4Stripes”- reducing human/wildlife conflict by installing solar lights to deter tigers from straying into villages
    • “Restore the Roodeberg” – aims to raise funds to expand and conserve the iconic Table Mountain National park in South Africa
  6. What crowdsourcing projects are launching on Earth Hour Blue?

    • Together with Shark Saver’s we are asking our global community to say “I’m Finished With Fins” and support the pledge to take shark’s fin off the menu
    • “I Heart The Reef” – an Instagram campaign for people to share their love of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, as part of the “Lights Out For The Reef” Earth Hour theme from WWF-Australia
    • “We Love Cities” – Join the global celebration of the most lovable sustainable cities. Vote, share your love and suggest ideas for the Earth Hour City Challenge finalist cities
  7. Why are the crowdfunding projects limited to only WWF backed projects at the start?

    Like other crowdfunding platforms, we’re starting small but believe this is the start of a revolutionary way of raising funds and getting support for the projects and campaigns chosen by the crowd.

    With this in mind, we’re launching with a selection of the best quality projects available for the Earth Hour community so that we can inspire even more ambitious and impact driven projects from WWF and around the world after the launch.

    As one of the world’s largest and most respected conservation organisations, WWF plays an integral part in Earth Hour Blue in helping to provide projects that help build a sustainable future where people live in harmony with nature.

    WWF backed projects around the world are creating solutions to the conservation challenges facing our planet, by connecting people and inspiring leadership from local communities.

  8. How much money does Earth Hour Global take from the funds raised on the crowdfunding platform?

    Earth Hour Global takes 9.5% to maintain the platform. Transaction fees from banks depend on the country. 

  9. Why have we decided to use a crowdfunding platform as an engagement tool?

    Crowdfunding means that the power lies with the crowd – they are the ones who decide which projects will succeed and become a reality. The person giving their dollar needs to understand and be inspired by what a project is trying to achieve, and want to be a part of it.

    This is in line with our original hope for Earth Hour. It’s a movement that was built for the people - it’s run by them. It’s the obvious extension of what our brand stands for.

  10. How can people get involved?

    • Amplify the hour. Show where you stand on the night of Earth Hour and engage your friends and network to support the cause.
    • Multiply your dollar through crowdfunding. Join the crowd to fund a project you love.
    • Globalise your voice. Add your voice to one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time.