As communities around the world go dark tonight, people will gather by candlelight bound by one common purpose--saving the planet.
At 8:30 p.m. local time, everyone’s invited to celebrate Earth Hour by turning off all unnecessary lights, or they can go “beyond the hour” by pledging to positively impact the planet.
Now observed in more than 130 countries worldwide, the celebration that started in San Francisco is uniting the world with something we all have in common--the Earth.
Even the guy who speaks for the trees has gotten in on the action. The Lorax of Dr. Seuss fame has taken up a pledge: he will turn his moustache green for the day if 500 children accept the hour long lights-out challenge. It’s a fun way for parents to get their children disconnected from the grid. To have your kids take the pledge, click here.
The Lorax also has a list of simple, practical everyday ways to conserve resources and energy on the site, like using reusable bags for shopping or using both sides of a piece of paper. It’s like making a New Year’s resolution in honor of the planet’s health instead of working out more.
But actually, it’s possible to do both with a simple pledge to hike more. As warm spring breezes breathe fresh life into the land, together with a possibly dimmer sky for an hour, it’s a good time to head out late, catch the sunset and linger awhile before heading back.
Connecting to the planet is a great first step toward treating her better. Taking that step amongst nature’s beauty can remind us why Earth is worth all the fuss in the first place--she’s more than a mother, she’s an awesome sight to behold.
Even the astronauts will be doing their part. For the first time the International Space Station will offer a glimpse of the earth during the hour. According to the ESA, astronaut and WWF ambassador André Kuipers will record the event with photos and commentary to be shared with the public.
To catch a bird’s eye of the light show for yourself, get to higher ground. The Verdugo Mountain trail system is a well-known destination for those seeking a jaunt into the darkness. Surrounded by urban sprawl, the mountain offers a quick escape into nature as well as breathtaking city views at high elevations, made even more dazzling under the cover of darkness.
One popular path, known as the Beaudry Loop Hike or , consists of a series of fire roads that ascend to the radio antennas at the top of the mountain, opening to panoramic views of cityscapes below.
Stare down upon the concrete wilderness and see how many illuminated homes begin to switch to darkness in honor of Mother Nature. Depending on the number of participants, the view may provide a rare moment of serenity felt the world ‘round.