Earth hour UAE: Let's unite in this darkest hour and light a candle
Turning off unnecessary lights for at least an hour will contribute to reducing energy consumption.
Published: Sat 28 Mar 2020, 2:00 PM
Last updated: Sat 28 Mar 2020, 4:29 PM
Earth Hour of 2020 is here. Even as community members stay at home, they are gearing up to mark the occasion on Saturday night by turning off lights for an hour and unite for a noble cause. It's a reason enough for many to break the spell of gloom amid Covid-19.
Turning off unnecessary lights for at least an hour will contribute to reducing energy consumption, said Mohammed bin Jarsh Al Falasi, undersecretary at the Department of Energy, Abu Dhabi.
"It is our duty to protect the earth, its nature and the environment we live in. It is imperative that the global community works together to provide a planet that has fresh air, nutritious soil, clean oceans and a balanced weather system for each and every one of the world's inhabitants."
He noted the UAE's care for the environment stems from the commitment of its leadership to sustaining natural resources for next generations. "The Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, taught us the importance of caring for our land, our nature and our wildlife. Today, we are inspired by his beliefs and commit to continuing with his approach to protect our planet from threats and irrational behaviours," Al Falasi said.
An opportunity to unite
Yoosaf Karikkayil, who is behind the sparkling lights in many of the private and public buildings across the country, said it's time for everyone to unite in the darkest hours for the mankind. Karikkayil, who runs Light Tower for past three decades, requested people to light a candle in support of those who are in the frontline of the fight against the pandemic.
"This is by far the most challenging times. We are all supporting the government to fight this together. Now that Earth Hour is here, it's an opportunity to unite in a symbolic way against this situation. Let us all support the efforts of our governments, health authorities, public officials and workers to tackle this pandemic. Let us all light a candle as a tribute and acknowledgement of their service," said Karikkayil.
Karikkayil said the idea of lighting candle from the balcony is lapped up by his twin children, who study in Amity University Dubai. "We felt this is an apt way to appreciate the hard work of all concerned authorities to ward off further problems. We request all members of community to turn off lights between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on Saturday and come out to their balconies and light a candle. Let's all unite and support members who are staying out to keep us safe," Shuaib and Shihab K. Yoosaf said while posing with a poster requesting people to join forces.
Each year, the Earth Hour has millions of people around the world switch off lights in support of nature and planet. Under the circumstances, this Earth Hour will be the first statement of intent that mankind will make together against Covid-19.
Dewa's appeal to public
On its social media posts, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) urged residents to join Earth Hour on Saturday. "Let's join efforts and raise our voice for nature on March 28, 8.30pm. Switch off the lights and unnecessary appliances and connect to Earth," Dewa said on twitter.
New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) will turn off all non-essential lights on the campus. "The world we are in feels very different today, and upholding this annual tradition is a reminder of what is important: community and compassion for each other, and our planet," said NYUAD associate director of community outreach Suparna Mathur.
Join the drive, virtually
In view of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Earth Hour organisers announced that the event would go virtual and people can take part in the programme from their homes.
On their official website, the organisers shared 20 things that can be done inside the home or virtually, during Earth Hour. "Just because you're staying at home, that doesn't mean you can't have a memorable Earth Hour on-the-night experience," the website said, urging the public to share their experience on social media with the hashtag, #EarthHour.
1. Switch off your lights
This is the DNA of the Earth Hour movement and the easiest way to participate.
Get some candles ready and whip up healthy and delicious meals. Try a zero-waste cookout or put on a blindfold and guess what's been cooked up.
3. Tune in online to one of the live Earth Hour streams
4. Have a night of board games or book readings in candle-light
5. Enjoy a themed movie night: The Environmental Film Festival is showing a large selection of their films for free on their website for a limited time.
6. Sign our Voice for the Planet petition
7. Camp in your backyard or living room
8. Participate in the competition run by One Minute Briefs (OMB). All you have to do is create a poster encouraging people around the world to take part in Earth Hour, and tweet your entries to @OneMinuteBriefs and @earthhour with the hashtag #EarthHour
9. Learn from Sir David Attenborough as he explains humanity's biggest challenge yet, and how we can overcome it or listen to Greta Thunberg
10. Challenge each other in a game of Heads Up. You can create your own deck of nature or wildlife-related word cards. Have a guesser hold up the cards on their forehead while the rest act out the word.
11. Practice some night-photography or try out "light-painting"
12. Up your sustainability knowledge and know-how
13. Create your own mini-golf course using household objects
14. Create your own Rube Goldberg machine
15. Challenge your artistic side with a candle-lit paint night
16. Write a letter to your future eco-warrior self
17. Dress up for an eco-friendly fashion show at home
18. Dance the night away or hold a silent disco
19. Sing the night away with your friends and family
20. Try Yoga at Home