The time of year for us to make a global stand against the impact we are having on climate change is upon us again. At 8:30pm on Saturday 26th March, people in more than 100 different countries will switch off their lights for Earth Hour 2011. However, it is not just households that will go dark, some of the world's major landmarks will turn off their iconic glows in support of this worldwide event.
Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when 2.2 million people and 2,000 businesses, turned their lights off to make a stand against climate change. By 2008, the event had become a global phenomenon when 50 million people across 35 different countries participated. Earth Hour 2009 then became the world's largest global initiative against climate change, when hundreds of millions of people took part in over 4,000 cities.
This year though, we are being encouraged to go beyond the hour, and to think about what else we can do in support of this global effort, once we have turned the lights back on. The thoughts of many will be with those who are still suffering from the effects of the recent earthquake in Japan, as thousands of people are still missing and many others have rationed supplies of water, food and electricity.