Some of the most iconic landmarks around the world will turn out their lights as part of a global campaign to protect the planet from climate change this weekend. From 8.30pm to 9.30pm (in your local time zone) on Saturday 19 March, more than 10,400 of the world's landmarks across over 170 countries will turn out their lights to promote sustainable living.
Yet beyond Earth Hour, small changes can help save energy and reduce your carbon footprint. Ahead of the mass blackout, here are five easy ways to make a difference.
Change your transport
Nothing beats walking or cycling as the cleanest mode of transportation, which create zero greenhouse gases beyond those used to produce the bike and the food you eat. Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine, while saving you money.
Eat less meat
The livestock sector produces around 15% of global greenhouse gases, which is roughly equivalent to all the exhaust emissions of every car, aircraft, train and ship in the world. Unless the strong demand for meat is curbed, livestock emissions will increase to the point where dangerous climate change is unavoidable. At the climate negotiations in Paris last year, it was agreed that reducing global meat consumption will be critical to keeping global warming below the danger level of two degrees Celsius.
Swap your lightbulbs
Changing from normal lightbulbs to LEDs in the rooms you use most – the kitchen, lounge and bathroom – can help save energy. LEDS are slightly more expensive to buy, but will save you money in the long run as they use a fraction of the energy of a regular, incandescent bulb. They also last 10 years or more.
Turn your thermostat down
Turning your heating down by one degree Celsius can help save you as much as £60 per year. Keeping your heating on at a constant low heat could also potentially save you more money than turning it on and off for large blasts of heat.
Heat your home with cooking
By leaving the oven door open after cooking, you might be able to turn your thermostat down. It is a far more efficient use of the stored heat. Also, using the right sized hob can help save energy. If you try and heat a large pan on a small ring, you are likely to waste more energy and money by heating it for longer.