As skylines around the country go dark, thousands will unite across the world to celebrate WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Earth Hour and take a stand against biodiversity loss. The Rashtrapati Bhavan, the India Gate, the Red Fort and other prominent landmarks in India will switch off their lights in solidarity as individuals, communities, and organizations across the country will come together to Give Up on habits and practices that are environmentally detrimental and deliver on their potential to build sustainable lifestyles, reduce their footprint and inspire positive action for the planet.
WWF’s Living Planet Report 2016 revealed a 58% decline in global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles between 1970 and 2012. It’s a clear sign that we are pushing our planet beyond its ability to sustain us. We are consuming natural resources at a rate 1.6 times higher than the earth can support.
It is to address this that WWF-India is launching the #GIVEUP TO GIVE BACK initiative, starting Earth Hour 2018. The campaign aims to inspire organizations, institutions, and individuals to make the choice to curb some habits, practices and lifestyles, burdening both our lives and the environment and inspire them to choose alternatives to Connect to Earth. The Give Up initiative starts conversations at different levels and for different agendas and is a lens and tool that organizations can use for shifting organizational culture and behavior change, for economizing operations and reducing costs. This is the choice to consume smart and ensure that the things we own don’t own us.
While the Earth Hour campaign has consistently focused on climate change as a key call to action over the last decade, the 2018-2020 campaign broad bases the conversation beyond climate change and calls on people across the world to take action and understand the interconnectivity of people and our environment through relevant issues such as air, water, and energy.
As every year, this year too Earth Hour is seeing unprecedented support from all quarters across India including governments, corporates, and organizations, through various innovative Earth Hour events and Give Up pledges. While the switching off of iconic monuments and buildings in India will mark the movement on the night of Earth Hour, various organizations across the country have come forward and pledged to #GiveUp. Some of these include
a. 5.6mn Bharat Scouts and Guides (BSG) have pledged to #GiveUp their plastic woggles, a signature element of the BSG uniform, replacing it with more sustainable and eco-friendly option
b. The ITC Maurya, New Delhi has pledged to #GiveUp plastic food packaging in their hotel, amounting to 1550 kilos of plastic a year
c. A constant supporter of the Earth Hour campaign over the last few years, the Woodland Stores have pledged to #GiveUp plastic packaging across their 650 stores
d. Marks and Spencers has pledged to #GiveUp paper usage and has committed to a 25% reduction in A4 and A3 paper usage in FY 18-19
e. The PVR Cinemas have pledged to #GiveUp plastic bottles in their own offices. They are also asking consumers to give up on paper tickets and bills and go digital
The Earth Hour event in Andhra Pradesh will be held at VUDA Park, Visakhapatnam in association with VUDA, Andhra Pradesh National Green Corps (APNGC), CMR, MVR, Sarda group, Vizag Journalist Forum, Excellence event planners, Srinivasa Farms and Young Indians (YI) on 24th March 2018 from 7.00 pm onwards. The event is open to all.
Speaking about the campaign, Ms. Farida Tampal, State Director, Hyderabad Office, WWF-India said, “Earth Hour theme this year is unique and interesting – Connect to Earth. It is time for us to reflect on our own lifestyle and #giveup wasteful consumption. Every individual’s action counts. We are happy to have many individuals, corporate bodies, educational institutions who have come forward to give up and give back by signing the Letter of Intent (LOI)”
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
About Earth Hour:
Earth Hour is WWF’s global environmental movement. Started in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in over 170 countries and territories to take tangible climate action. Celebrating the tenth edition of its signature lights-out event in March 2016, the Earth Hour movement continues to harness the power of its millions of supporters to shine a light on climate action and the power of the individual to change climate change. For more information, please log onto earthhour.in
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