Join Earth Hour 2024 to Combat Plastic Pollution and Climate Change

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The World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Philippines), in collaboration with the city government of Manila, is calling on Filipinos to participate in the Earth Hour 2024 switch-off event on March 23. With the theme “Switch off Plastic Pollution, Give an Hour to Earth,” the local observance of the event will take place at the Kartilya ng Katipunan, next to the Manila City Hall.

The Earth Hour event aims to address two of the planet’s biggest challenges: biodiversity loss and climate change. By conserving energy and taking action against plastic pollution, Filipinos can contribute to solving these pressing issues. During the media launch, WWF-Philippines Executive Director Katherine Custodio emphasized the impact of human activities on the environment and biodiversity, urging individuals to reconnect with nature.

Plastic pollution is a major concern for the Philippines, having evolved into a public health issue. Custodio highlighted the staggering amount of plastic waste generated by the country, reaching 2 million tons annually. Unfortunately, only 9 percent of this waste is recycled, while 35 percent leaks into the environment.

To show their commitment and solidarity with environmental conservation, the public, national landmarks, office buildings, and government offices are encouraged to switch off their lights for one hour from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. during the event. Last year, Earth Hour received support from 190 countries and territories, with over 410,000 hours dedicated to the cause.

What began as a symbolic lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 has transformed into one of the world’s largest grassroots environmental movements. Earth Hour now spans over 7,000 cities and encompasses 193 countries and territories. The Philippines joined Earth Hour in 2008, making this year its 16th year of participation in the global event.

Earth Hour not only raises awareness about climate change but also emphasizes the importance of protecting the environment. The event serves as a reminder that small actions can have a significant impact. Manila Mayor Maria Sheilah Lacuna-Pangan expressed her gratitude for hosting this year’s Earth Hour celebration, particularly with the focus on eradicating plastic pollution. As the capital city, Manila aims to leverage its influence to engage other cities and Filipinos in environmental conservation efforts.

In line with its commitment to reducing plastic waste, Manila has become a Plastic Smart City. The city has pledged to achieve a 100-percent reduction in plastic waste leakage by 2030. This commitment has led WWF-Philippines to select Manila as its partner for this year’s Earth Hour event.

By participating in Earth Hour 2024, Filipinos can contribute to the global movement for environmental sustainability. It is an opportunity to take a stand against plastic pollution and support the protection and restoration of the environment. Let us all come together, switch off our lights for one hour, and make a difference for our planet.

Source: The Manila Times

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