WORLD’S YOUTH ARE INSPIRING PEOPLE TO SAVE THE PLANET THROUGH EARTH HOUR
Kids, Teenagers and Young Adults Lead the Way to a Sustainable Future
MARCH 18 2013, SINGAPORE: “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today,” said Malcolm X. No statement better exemplifies the actions of the kids, teenagers and young adults across the globe who are inspiring their communities to take part in Earth Hour in 2013. Their extraordinary stories of courage and determination are inspiring others to follow the lead of these young Earth Hour champions who are rallying their communities to go beyond the hour for Earth Hour on March 23 at 8:30PM.
“It makes so much sense that the young are leading the way towards a sustainable future. From giving up chocolates for a week to planting a million trees in a day, the youth remind us that there is no effort too small and that everyone can do something can to help save the planet,” said Andy Ridley, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Hour.
No one is too young to participate in Earth Hour, and this year two five year olds are inspiring people to save the planet that they will inherit, making them the youngest Earth Hour heroes yet. In Greece, five-year-old Athenian Panagiotis Kalkavouras said he would stop eating chocolates for a week if 50 people green their balconies for his ‘I Will If You Will’ challenge. In Thailand, Earth Hour has inspired a five-year-old girl, Leelou, to create a short storybook called "Earth Hour" narrated by Leelou and her Dad.
Not only are preschoolers joining, for the third year running, preschool TV sensation Pocoyo is Earth Hour’s Global Kids Ambassador reaching kids through Pocoyo’s Ocean Cleanup Game. If 100,000 children go online and play the new Ocean Cleanup Game, Pocoyo and his friends have pledged to help collect over two tons of ocean debris.
In Ireland, Imogen Rabone, Project Co-ordinator of One Million Trees in One Day is also the organizer of Earth Hour in that country. Given the shared goal sustainability through more trees to off-set carbon emissions, Earth Hour and One Million Trees in One Day will collaborate on planting a million young native trees in Ireland during the weekend of Earth Hour between 12 noon on the 22nd March and 12 noon on the 23rd of March.
“I believe that many people doing small things can make a huge impact upon our environment for the better and I am amazed at the brilliant ideas at Earth Hour,” said Imogen Rabone.
American child prodigy and internationally published author, Adora Svitak is Earth Hour’s Youth Ambassador and is passionate about the critical role of the youth in securing a sustainable future. "When I think about the environment, I think first of young people. I think about my classmate, designated a county 'earth hero' for her grassroots work in school and in the community to plant trees, reduce waste, and raise awareness. I think of teens like Alec Loorz, founding Kids vs. Global Warming and the iMatter March. I think about Olivia Bouler, drawing birds to raise money to 'save the Gulf,' and the countless other peers whose work directly impacts the earth's fragile climate in, exceptionally, a very positive way. I've often espoused what adults can learn from kids, and there's a great deal to be learned from the behavior of this generation when it comes to our shared climate future." said Adora Svitak who is also one of TED Talk’s top speakers.
In the UK, 15-year-old Andrew Ashton took it upon himself to convince his Head Teacher to allow him to present 15-minute assemblies to every year group of his 1600-strong secondary school to persuade them to sign up for Earth Hour. He even persuaded his mum to get her company to turn off their lights in their office block for Earth Hour.
Earth Hour’s hero in Swaziland is Nathi Mzileni who in 2011, when he was just 15 years old started Earth Hour in his country single-handed. Today he has garnered the support of his government, the media and key businesses to promote Earth Hour, providing an inspiration to all of us.
“The determination of these young people to do something for the planet in the face of enormous obstacles is testament to their unwavering courage, the power of community and the clever use of social media,” said Andy Ridley, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Hour.
In Libya, two determined teenagers made it happen in 2012. Mohammad Nattah had wanted to organize an Earth Hour event in 2011 but he was in the army fighting in the civil war against Gaddafi. After the war, Mohammad Nattah joined Muhammad Bugashata to make Earth Hour the first environmental movement to take place in Libya post–Gaddafi. In 2013, Earth Hour will not only happen in Tripoli and Benghazi but also in three other cities and maybe more.
In New Zealand, 17-year-old Rachel Cottam is the Earth Hour champion in her rural town of Lincoln near Christchurch – the city devastated by a strong earthquake two years ago. She continues to organize an Earth Hour events and this year she’s leading a team to organize acoustic concerts.
The youth are daring their fellow pupils, teachers and communities to save the planet through their schools. So far, students from preschools to universities in 16 countries/territories are organizing their own celebration of Earth Hour.
In China, Earth Hour advocacy starts really young! WWF-China created Green Week, the new Earth Hour tradition with a different environmental action every day. Over 400 kindergartens in China will hold a drawing contest where the estimated 150,000 students draw their interpretation of the seven chosen environmental actions.
In Spain, students from the International School in Barcelona pledged to plant 1000 fruit trees in a developing country if 1000 teachers give one class per month without using photocopies till the end of 2013.
In Bali, Indonesia, Green School Bali Grade 8 students will go paperless for the rest of the school year if 1000 people will each plant a tree.
In Singapore, the National University of Singapore Students' Union group ‘Students Against Violation of the Earth’ (SAVE) are planning a ‘Walking Movement’ on their Kent Ridge Campus on the week leading up to the day of Earth Hour where they will hold a free bike day (making bikes available for students to borrow) if 1,000 people pledge to walk for a day.
Earth Hour 2013 will take place at 8.30pm – 9.30pm on Saturday 23 March
See the Earth Hour 2013 Official Video at www.ehour.me/2013ViD
Press images from the global media launch can be downloaded at ehour.me/WmbuK8
Press images of Earth Hour can be downloaded at earthhour.org/media-centre/images
Downloadable video footage of the global event will be available in four B-rolls for media, covering major regions at earthhour.org/media-centre/videos
To join the global community head to:
• Earth Hour www.earthhour.org
• Facebook www.facebook.com/earthhour
• Twitter www.twitter.com/earthhour
• YouTube www.YouTube.com/EarthHour
• Google+ plus.google.com/+EarthHour
• Instagram instagram.com/earthhourofficial
About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a global environmental initiative in partnership with WWF. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 23, 2013 at 8:30 PM to show their support for environmentally sustainable action. In 2013, Earth Hour’s I Will If You Will concept invites individuals and organisations to challenge others to an ongoing environmental commitment beyond the hour. Earth Hour began in one city in 2007 and by 2012 involved hundreds of millions of people in 152 countries across every continent, receiving reports as ‘the world’s largest campaign for the planet’.
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with almost five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.