Watch the India-Pakistan match in the dark

Lights will be turned off at 8.30 p. m. local time to represent the efforts that are needed to tackle climate change. But for cricket fans in the sub-continent, this is a cause of concern, with the Earth Hour falling right in between the much anticipated India v Pakistan World T20 match.

A 2015 file photo of Sania Mirza pledging her support for the Earth Hour.   -  G. Ramakrishna

Students in Bhopal take part in an awareness rally organised by WWF for 'Earth Hour' campaign.   -  A. M. Faruqui

On Saturday night, cities across the world will participate in a voluntary power cut to mark the 10th Earth Hour, a grassroots initiative by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), in solidarity with everyone worried about the effects of climate change.

 

Lights will be turned off at 8.30 p. m. local time to represent the efforts that are needed to tackle climate change. But for cricket fans in the sub-continent, this is a cause of concern, with the Earth Hour falling right in between the much anticipated India v Pakistan World T20 match.

Earth Hour is held worldwide annually encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p. m., as a symbol of their commitment to the planet. It was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide. Today, Earth Hour engages a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues. The one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the larger movement on climate change.

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WWF-India’s 2016 Earth Hour campaign advocates a solar-powered future by urging its supporters to “go solar”. It is also making this journey to solar energy easier for its supporter base by providing them with information and all the know-how required to make the move to solar. There is an innovative calculator available on the >earthhour.in website that guides people through an interactive application, highlighting how much energy can be saved by switching off specific appliances in the house. It also tells people how much they would save if they moved to solar, what would be the requirements for the same and the impact it would have on the environment.

The ‘Go Solar’ campaign, endorsed this year by eminent sports personalities such as Sania Mirza and Shikhar Dhawan, has urged cricket fans all over the country to switch off all other non-essential lights during the hour and watch the India-Pakistan ICC World T20 match in the dark.

Speaking about his association with the cause, Dhawan said, “I believe climate change is the biggest global problem that we face today. It is a problem that we need to solve together. Like cricket, Earth Hour brings people together. I would urge people to come together and find newer, smarter ways to help save the planet.

“As we chase our dream of becoming World Champions again, we are counting on you to help us realize our dream of a greener planet! Let’s stand together against climate change,” said Dhawan.

Other distinguished figures such as Amitabh Bachchan, Harsha Bhogle, Venkatesh Prasad, Ram Charan, Parambrata Chatterjee, Boman Irani, Svara Bhaskar, Vishal Dadlani, Rajeev Khandelwal, Divya Datta and Adil Hussain have also endorsed the cause.

This year, top European footballers are standing up in support of the campaign, with a view to raising awareness of environmental issues.

Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus, Eden Hazard, Andriy Yarmolenko, Roberto Soldado and many more have recorded messages inviting their fans to team up and help protect the planet.

Cameroon football legend Roger Milla has gone one step ahead with a campaign to turn plastic waste into building materials.

Milla, named the best African player of the 20th century last year, is on a quest to resolve Cameroon’s massive plastic waste problem.

 

With plastic bags and bottles routinely cast away in the central African country, the waste clogs up rivers, litters roads and blocks gutters.

“We launched this project to fight pollution and create jobs for unemployed youngsters,” said Milla about his initiative.

Major football grounds in England such as Manchester United’s Old Trafford, Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane and QPR’s Loftus Road will also switch off the lights during the Earth Hour.