On the 19th March the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) organized the yearly Earth Hour again. The great idea of this yearly event is to encourage individuals and businesses worldwide to turn off their lights for one hour to show their concern for the environment and to raise awareness for environmental issues. The Earth Hour was first held in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, and has been a growing event ever since. This year millions of people from over 172 countries participated and so did the Green Office VU.
The overall goal was to get as many buildings and businesses involved to turn their lights off. And it was a great success! Almost the whole Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam was completely dark, as well as the Cultuurcenter Griffioen, the Opleidingsinstituut Zorg & Welzijn (OZW building) and the ACTA Dental Education building. Also at the Zuidas more businesses participated than last year. Most notable was the ABN Amro building in Amsterdam, which also turned their lights completely off. All over the world iconic national landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, The Sydney Opera House, the London Eye or the Shanghai Skyline participated in the event.
The Earth Hour organization not only tries to raise awareness, but also takes actual actions. Since the first Earth Hour event, the organization has been able to start the first Earth Hour Forest in Uganda, installed solar-powered lights in cities without electricity in India, and started educational programs in Taiwan and Thailand.
Next year Earth Hour will be on the 25th of March, and the Green Office VU will try to get even more buildings and organizations at the VU campus and the Zuidas to join the Earth Hour.