By Tiffany Zhao
Lights all around the world were switched off for an hour on Saturday, March 19 to celebrate Earth Hour 2016. The event takes place annually at the end of March. Earth Hour encourages people to turn off their non-essential lights from 8:30-9:30 PM local time as a global effort to protect our planet and to raise awareness for the effects of climate change. Organized by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour was started in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Back in 2007, there was great skepticism and denial about the issue of climate change. However, more than 2.2 million people and 2,000 businesses participated in the first Earth Hour event.
Since then, this event has grown to thousands of cities and towns around the world. This year, more than 350 landmarks in 178 countries participated in this environmental movement. The theme this year was “places we love”, which include beaches, forests, mountains, and rivers- all of which are heavily threatened by the effects of climate change. In New York City, the lights of the Empire State Building were dimmed and the One Times Square building along with other buildings and billboards went dark in Times Square. Other landmarks that took part include the Temple of the Parthenon, the Tokyo Tower, the Big Ben, the Sydney Opera House, Taipei 101, and the Eiffel Tower