Have you joined in with Earth Hour? This year it is at 8:30pm local Sydney time, Saturday, March 19, 2016. In 2016, Earth Hour in Australia will celebrate the places we love that make our outdoor lifestyle and the Aussie way of life so great: our breathtaking beaches, forests, reefs, national parks, snowcapped mountains, rivers and farmland which uniquely distinguish Australia as the “lucky country”.
Here are some shots from one of my favourite places in the whole world.
Yet these iconic places are under threat from rising temperatures and more extreme weather. Small changes to our climate as a result of increased carbon pollution are messing up the delicate balance of nature that we enjoy so much. Rising temperatures will drive coral bleaching on our beloved Great Barrier Reef and a decline in snow season length and coverage in the Australian Alps, while rising sea levels are expected to erode our beaches and coastlines.
On Saturday March 19, millions of Australians will take part in Earth Hour from 8:30 – 9.30pm to show support for a low pollution, clean energy future, one in which we can continue to enjoy the best of nature and our great Aussie outdoor lifestyle. At Recycled HQ, we will be spending the hour quietly together in our own backyard, focused on the important things of life.
Families, friends, schools and communities across the country are encouraged to register your support at earthhour.org.au in advance of the global event, and reconnect with nature by heading outdoors together on Earth Hour night to celebrate the places you love - whether it be a gathering or dinner at a community garden, national park, beach, river or even your own backyard or balcony like the Recycled family!
No matter where you are on Earth Hour night, everyone can take part in “light out” at 8:30pm. A virtual switch off will mark the start of Earth Hour around the world and will see hundreds of thousands of supporters in more than 172 countries take to social media as part of a united and international show of solidarity to voice their support for action on climate change.
You can get involved by donating your social media feed to help spread six short climate change messages to family and friends in the week leading up to Earth Hour, and by changing your Facebook picture to an Earth Hour inspired image to mark your participation in the global event.
Earth Hour’s ‘donate your feed’ plugin can be downloaded free of charge from earthhour.org.au to help supporters raise awareness about the benefits of a low pollution, clean energy future, and to rally the support of friends and family in calling for action on climate change.
You are also encouraged to share pictures of Australia’s incredible land and seascapes, and unique urban areas as part of a national photo competition which aims to raise awareness of the need to protect the country’s most treasured natural assets from the effects of climate change, to celebrate “Places We Love”. The photo competition will award both individual winners and grassroots environmental organisations, and is running across Facebook and Instagram from Thursday 18 February until midnight on Wednesday 16 March.
Just post a photo of a place you love with an explanation of why you will be switching off for Earth Hour to help protect it. Each week the owner of a winning photo will win $500 as well as $500 towards an environmental organisation that works to protect the place they have entered.
Samantha Webb, Earth Hour National Manager, said the initiative hopes to create a wave of social media activity and awareness in the lead up to the global ‘lights out’ event on Saturday 19 March. “Earth Hour is about people power. It’s about communities joining together to show that we care about our precious natural environment. “Small changes to our climate as a result of increased carbon pollution are messing up the delicate balance of nature that we enjoy so much. “By taking part in the national photo competition, and uploading a photo of themselves out and about in nature or at a place that they love, supporters can help demonstrate the swell of public support that exists for a low pollution, clean energy future, one in which we can continue to enjoy the best of nature and our great Aussie outdoor lifestyle,” she said.
To register for the competition, Facebook entrants must like and tag both Earth Hour Australia and major partner Bendigo Bank’s Facebook pages, share a photo of a place that they love, say why they think it’s worth protecting and use the hashtags #PlacesWeLove. Instagram entrants must follow and tag @EarthHour_Australia, share a photo of a place that they love, say why they think it’s worth protecting, and use the hashtags #PlacesWeLove and #BendigoBank.
You must make sure your accounts are set to public so that your photos can be judged and collated on a open tagboard on the Earth Hour Australia website. For more information on Earth Hour’s Places We Love photo competition, and terms and conditions, visit www.earthhour.org.au and for events in your area: Go to http://www.earthhour.org.au/getinvolved/ to search for Earth Hour events taking place in your area.