Earth Hour: Swiss towns and landmarks to be plunged into darkness this weekend

Earth Hour: Swiss towns and landmarks to be plunged into darkness this weekend

A number of Swiss cities, castles and historical sites are set to be plunged into darkness between 8.30 and 9.30pm on March 25, as part of the Earth Hour initiative. The Jet d’eau and Chillon Castle will be joined by other famous landmarks like the Taj Mahal and Empire State Building in switching their lights off, in a move designed to send a positive sign of support for our planet.

Earth Hour and the great switch off

Started in 2007, Earth Hour is a time every year when people figuratively and literally switch their “lights off.” During the hour-long darkness, people across the world show their solidarity and commitment to saving the planet from climate change by taking an hour to learn more about the earth, reconnect with nature through walking and other activities, restore the planet through volunteer work or inspire others through education.

This year’s Earth Hour comes a week after a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which noted that not only is the climate in crisis - driven to the brink by fossil fuel burning - but that humanity as a whole will need to reduce emissions by 43 percent by 2030 in order to limit warming to 1,5 degrees Celsius. WWF Switzerland told Blick that the report “clearly shows the urgency of the situation: we must act now to combat the climate crisis and halt the loss of biodiversity.”

What is happening on Earth Hour in Switzerland in 2023?

During Earth Hour between 8.30 and 9.30pm on March 25, 20 places throughout Switzerland will turn all of their lights off “to give a clear signal in favour of the protection of our Earth." Alongside other global landmarks like the Taj Mahal in India, the Jet d’eau in Geneva, the Wizards’ Tower in Sion, the Castle at Chillon in Canton Vaud and other monuments in Fribourg, Sierre, Delémont, Montreux, Vevey and Yverdon will all have their lights switched off.

Alongside the monuments, entire towns have also agreed to switch off their lights for an hour, with the entire old town of Lenzburg due to participate. St. Gallen has gone one step further, organising a whole raft of events over the next weekend, which includes a “biodiversity” themed walk.

"The fact that so many cities and people are participating in Earth Hour shows how much the public cares about protecting nature," noted WWF Switzerland, arguing that the alpine nation is setting a "global example" through its actions. "With Earth Hour, we are signalling to decision-makers in Switzerland and around the world that it is high time to recognise the conclusions of the IPCC and to act accordingly."

What should you do during Earth Hour?

So what should you do during Earth Hour itself? To help budding participants along, here are some things Earth Hour itself says you can do:

  • Learn more: Read two articles about nature, watch a nature documentary or attend Earth Hour in person.
  • Reconnect: Go for a walk near a lake or in a pleasant area, and participate in stargazing.
  • Restore: Visit your favourite local area and help pick up rubbish.
  • Inspire: Cook a “sustainable dinner” for friends and family, and share articles and posts about the climate with your friends.

For more information about all the cities that will be taking part, and all the other events happening in Switzerland during Earth Hour this year, check out the WWF press release(in German).

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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