Earth Hour 2021 in Jamaica: Darkness Falls on IG

“Why are you turning the lights out?” cried my husband, as I plunged the whole house into darkness at 8:30 p.m. this evening. By the way I turned the outside lights off, too. Light pollution was considerably reduced.

“We are celebrating Earth Hour,” I told him. He went back to playing with his phone.

Meanwhile I tuned into Instagram Live. It my first time to participate in that experience. So, the young people at OurFootprintJA (the Jamaica Climate Change Youth Council) were treated to the vision of my glasses reflecting the faint glare of my Mac computer as I sat in the dark. I hope I didn’t frighten them.

The JCCYC was celebrating Earth Hour 2021, as Jamaica stayed under a COVID-19 curfew.

Earth Hour is a simple concept that was created by the World Wildlife Fund in Australia – a symbolic event that first took place in Sydney in 2007. It is held every year on the last Saturday in March at 8:30 p.m., wherever you are in the world. This year, the WWF had an online guided meditation, which you can still catch up on here. They observe:

 WWF is taking a different approach this year. We are living in unprecedented times and now more than ever we need to take care of ourselves and one another, while also looking internally to see how we can contribute to reversing nature loss and protecting our planet.

Yes – I like this. I commented that the hour of darkness gives us a chance to pause and reflect on what we are doing to our Planet Earth. As Jane Goodall said:

How come the most intellectual creature to ever walk Earth is destroying its only home?

Guardian UK, November 2018.

This year, perhaps more than ever, global citizens are online – not least the JCCYC, which spends a great deal of time campaigning and organizing smart and thoughtful social media events, with an element of fun. They recently hosted an Online Thrift Store and Auction (a first!) So this evening they were on Instagram Live. After half an hour of chat, it was time to “turn out the lights,” to quote an old soul music classic

But enough of the flippancy. Earth Hour has a serious purpose, and in some ways seemed more meaningful this year. We are still living in the tightening grip of climate change (as well as the pandemic) and we need to take care of ourselves, and each other, more than ever.

We need to take care of the Planet.

You can follow the Jamaica Climate Change Youth Council on Facebook and on Twitter @OurFootprintJA_ as well as on Instagram and YouTube.

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