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‘I will if you will’: Earth Hour dares people to save the planet

Picadilly Circus is pictured during Earth Hour in London, March 28, 2009. — Reuters file picPicadilly Circus is pictured during Earth Hour in London, March 28, 2009. — Reuters file picSYDNEY, March 5 — On March 31, individuals, businesses and some of the world’s most recognisable landmarks will pull the plug and plunge themselves into darkness for the fifth annual Earth Hour. However, in the month leading up to the event, organisers are asking individuals “what are you willing to do to save the planet?” and encouraging people to upload their answers to YouTube.

Earth Hour first began in 2007 in Sydney and has since spread to more than 5,000 cities in 135 countries. The annual event encourages individuals, businesses and governments to turn out their lights for one hour in a bid to raise awareness of environmental issues facing the planet.

The event, organised by the WWF, is held on the last Saturday of March (the 31st in 2012) at 8:30 pm local time, and famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Sydney Opera House and the Golden Gate Bridge are expected to take part.

This year the event challenges people to think beyond the initial hour with its ‘I will if you will’ campaign asking ‘what will you do to save the planet?’.

Participants can upload their responses to Earth Hour’s YouTube channel and see who takes them up on their dare. Notable examples so far include Christian Calcatelli’s pledge to “play the piano live on the web for eight hours non-stop if you will start recycling”, a nameless pledge to “eat a 3lb gummyworm if 10,000 people sign up for Earth Hour” and a father’s promise to “do whatever his daughter tells [him] to if 5,000 people commit to recycling in 2012.”

Earth Hour on March 31 is followed by Earth Day on April 22, which is a worldwide series of environmentally focused events, seminars and celebrations. — AFP/Relaxnews

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