EARTH HOUR, THE MOST WIDE-SCALE ENVIRONMENTAL EVENT, WAS HELD IN RUSSIA
Almost 190 countries have joined the iniciative this year. In Russia 170 cities have taken part in the event, that is 20 cities more than in 2017. The city with the most active participants will be rewarded the Capital of Earth Hour prize.
Earth Hour is an international event of symbolic nature, when WWF calls to turn off lights and household appliances for one hour to show that we care about the future of our planet. This year the Earth Hour slogan is "Vote for Nature". The participants "vote" for the most vital environmental initiatives and send a collective message to the elected president. The campaign aims at protecting nature reserves, developing alternative energy, introducing separate waste collection, and recycling.
Earth Hour has been supported by Diana Arbenina, Alexey Kortnev, Anton Komolov, Uma2rman music band, Dmitry Kozhoma, Pavel Derevianko, Lyubov Tolkalina, Sasha Spilberg, Ekaterina Andreeva, Artem Rebrov, Dana Sokolova and many other celebrities. Dozens of famous Russian bloggers joined the event on social media.
Earth Hour in the Russian Regions
Across the country, the illumination of the most famous monuments and numerous administrative buildings was turned off, including the Kremlins in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Krasnodar and the bridge over the Golden Horn Bay in Vladivostok. Flash mobs, bicycle rides, concerts and other events took place in various cities. You can find information on the events in a special section on the Earth Hour website.
In Moscow the lighting of more than 1,900 buildings was switched off, among them the Moscow Kremlin, The Seven Sisters (Stalinskie Vysotki), the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Luzhniki Stadium, the Bolshoi Theater, the buildings of the State Duma and the Federation Council, Moscow City business center, most buildings on the Garden Ring, New Arbat Avenue and Tverskaya Street. An immersive musical flash mob took place on Red Square with the participation of the Rise Entertainment team, the centerpiece of which was translated into Russian Michael Jackson's Earth Song. There was a visual-interactive show with candles to the music of the King of Pop with the participation of spectators and volunteers. The last verses of the song were sung by Katya Konisevich (Key Q), Pavel Derevianko, Pavel Barshak, Elena Velikanova, Gladstone Mahib, Ilya Musatov and Oksana Nevezhina. Traditionally, the symbol of the event "60+" and "WWF" were made with candles on Red Square.
There was a gala concert in Zaryadye park with the participation of stars and officials. As usually, a switch was installed, in order to symbolically switch off and on the lights in the whole city.
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky citizens were among the first to hold Earth Hour, the illumination of the regional administration building was turned off there. A ski race "For Snow Leopard" took place In Kyzyl with the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources. There were bicycle rides in Vladivostok, Blagoveshchensk, Irkutsk and Kislovodsk. In St. Petersburg, Earth Hour was marked by the release into the wild birds restored on the territory of Sestroretsk Swamp nature reserve.
An eco-quiz was organized in Arkhangelsk, while at 20.30 everyone could enjoy a magnificent fire show and become part of a flash mob with candles. In Vladivostok, the square in front of the regional Youth House was chosen as Earth Hour venue, with an interesting show, prize contests and a dance flash mob with luminous balls. On Russky Island about 150 students of Far Eastern Federal University participated in the flash mob, forming the word ZEMLYA (Earth) with luminous sticks.
Earth Hour on the Internet
This year, the largest Russian Internet companies offered their users various activities for Earth Hour. The event was customarily supported by social networks, for example, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki developed a special electronic bulletin allowing users to vote for environmental initiatives without going to the Earth Hour website, while My World and Mail.ru Minigames posted the information on the event.
The electronic books library, LitRes, together with WWF Russia, on the occasion created a list of 12 books for children and adults, illustrating how beautiful and amazing the nature of our planet is, and how vital it is to remain human.
There were three flash mobs on social media. About 40 brands dimmed their social media profile pictures and home pages of their websites, including Sberbank, Alfa Bank, Tinkoff Bank, Beeline, Megafon, Auchan, Aeroflot, Eldorado, SPLAT, Rollton, MEGA, Sony, Skyscanner, Aviasales, Land Rover, MediaMarkt, Mastercard, Faberlic and others. While social networkers shared creative photo collages marked with a green tick "for nature", videobloggers shot a series of videos where they turned off the light, demonstrating their participation in the Earth Hour initiative.
Mining, cryptocurrency and blockchain experts for the first time have joined the action in 2018. Miners from Russia, Japan, China, Canada, Georgia, Bulgaria, Poland switched off their equipment for one hour together with other participants turning off the lights all over the world. Thus environmentally active miners draw public attention to huge energy and natural resource consumption in the mining industry. They call to use renewable energy sources (solar, wind, geothermal energy, etc.) in the working process.
Earth Hour in the World
Samoa islanders were the first to mark Earth Hour on the planet, and the action will be completed on the Cook Islands in the Pacific Ocean. You can stay up-to-date with Earth Hour events in different parts of the world on the international website earthhour.org/live.
This year a lot of famous landmarks became lightless for Earth Hour, such as Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster in London, Paris Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum in Rome, the Egyptian pyramids, the St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the Acropolis of Athens, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the Sydney Opera House, Empire State Building in New York, and others.
Just like in Russia, for many countries Earth Hour is a powerful impetus to implement important environmental projects. For example, supported by the local population, WWF Colombia is campaigning to adopt the plan to stop deforestation by 2020; WWF Madagascar has provided its population with new eco-friendly furnaces, consuming 50% less coal; in Indonesia, the ecologists planted thousands of mangrove trees and tackled waste problems; in Slovenia the activists gathered signatures against the construction of new hydropower stations on the Mura River; Australians campaigned the protection of such rare species as green turtles, koalas and penguins, as well as the transition to renewable energy sources. A campaign to reduce the use of plastic packaging was held in China. In French Polynesia, WWF promoted the protection of marine ecosystems, 5 mln km2 square; while the transition to low-energy LED lamps became the main theme of the campaign in Nepal.
Earth Hour is the most wide-scale international environmental event, when WWF calls to turn off the lights for one hour to show that we are not indifferent to the future of the planet. The official website of the action is 60.wwf.ru.
Earth Hour is organized by WWF Russia with the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation and the Moscow City Government Department for Environmental Management and Protection.
The partners of the action are KASTAMONU, USERVICE, RUSS-INVEST investment company, Arkhangelsk PPM, Origins. The participants: Coca-Cola, Energodiagnostika, Ferrero Russia, Auchan, Mars, Delicatesska.ru, SUN InBev. The media partners: RIA Novosti news agency (Russia Today), Echo of Moscow radio station, Metro newspaper, Living Planet TV channel.