01 What is Earth Hour?

Earth Hour, organized by WWF, is a global grassroots movement uniting people to take action on environmental issues and protect the planet. Engaging a massive mainstream community, Earth Hour was famously started as a lights out event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then, it has grown to engage millions of supporters in more than 185 countries and territories, inspiring individuals and organizations worldwide to take action for the environment, and driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the crowd. As the movement grows, the one-hour lights out event continues to be the symbol of a broader commitment toward nature and our planet.


02 When does Earth Hour take place?

While WWF projects and individual actions under the Earth Hour movement continue throughout the year, the annual Earth Hour lights out event is held worldwide toward the end of March to encourage individuals, households, communities and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.

03 Is Earth Hour an annual event?

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

04 How long has Earth Hour been going for?

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

05 What does Earth Hour ask people to do?

The first thing anyone can do to get involved is to turn off their lights during Earth Hour. But there is much, much more. Our objective is for people to take action beyond the hour, whether it is supporting a local WWF project 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.

06 What does Earth Hour aim to achieve?

For the past 10 years, people around the world have come together every Earth Hour to support efforts to tackle climate change. And, together, we have created a powerful movement that helped deliver strong global commitments to tackling this threat. Climate change remains a big challenge for us all.

But another urgent threat now demands our attention: the staggering loss of biodiversity and nature. Earth Hour today endeavors to spark global conversations on protecting nature not only because it is our strongest ally against to the climate crisis -  but also because of its importance in ensuring our own health, happiness, prosperity and even survival.

07 What does a commitment to Earth Hour mean?

By registering for Earth Hour, individuals, communities and businesses are making a commitment to turn their lights off for an hour 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, WWF and/or other environmental organizations and initiatives.

08 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. 

09 What has Earth Hour achieved since the movement began?

  • WWF-Uganda created 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 hectares 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 2,123 mitigation actions submitted by Earth Hour City Challenge 2014 participating cities

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

10 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 the movement beyond the hour.

11 I'm new to Earth Hour, where can I start?

Read our "Take Part" page and explore all the different ways you can get involved - you can do much more than just switching off your lights! If you want to organize your own Earth Hour event in your community, business, or organisation, check out our "Organize An Event" page.

12 Who can participate?

Earth Hour is a campaign for anyone and everyone who wants to help make our planet – and our future - better.

13 I represent a hotel. What is the best way for my organisation to celebrate Earth Hour?

We have a dedicated guide for Hotels, containing everything you need to know about running an Earth Hour - tips and tricks, email templates for staff and partners, going beyond the hour and more - specially for hotels.

14 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 organizations such as the World Organization 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.


15 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.

16 Whose idea was Earth Hour?

Earth Hour came from a think tank initiated by Earth Hour 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 skepticism and denial on 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 planet’s biggest environmental challenge yet. 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 Australia and climate change to symbolize the growing global pursuit of a better, sustainable future for all.

17 What is Earth Hour’s relationship with WWF?

Earth Hour is an initiative of WWF. In 2007, WWF initiated Earth Hour as 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 source campaign that would allow communities and organizations to become part of a global movement to protect our planet.

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

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

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

Switch off and Give an hour for Earth by spending 60 minutes doing something - anything - positive for our planet! Don't know where to start? Check out this page for ideas!

20 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 all these years, it is clear everyone usually does not switch their lights back on simultaneously.

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

WWF’s Earth Hour secures millions of dollars of free advertising space with the help of partners such as Starcom, Discovery Networks International and many others. 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.

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

Earth Hour takes every effort to minimize our footprint, not just for the hour but also all year round. We strive to ensure emissions from our team and different campaigns are offset and all participants are encouraged to think sustainably when planning or organizing events.

23 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 symbolizes a commitment to change beyond the hour.

24 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 landmarks 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.