Earth Hour Festival – 6 activities to check out this weekend.

Earth Hour is this weekend, and WWF is celebrating it at the Esplanade, making it the perfect opportunity to reflect on our climate crisis.


If you’re free this weekend (24 – 26 March 2023), why not head down to Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay to check out Earth Hour Festival? Presented by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), it will be filled with fun, climate-conscious activities suitable for everyone! 

what is Earth Hour about? 

Originating in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is WWF’s flagship global environmental movement. It has quickly grown to be one of the world’s most significant grassroots campaigns, with its involvement of not only individuals, but communities, businesses, and organisations in over 180 countries. Earth Hour has empowered people to take tangible climate action, while simultaneously highlighting the importance of safeguarding the planet. 

While the movement has historically focused on the climate crisis, it has started to call attention to the pressing issue of nature loss in recent times. The main aim of this shift lies in creating an unstoppable movement for nature, similar to how the world is coming together to tackle climate change. Earth Hour hopes to recognise the role individuals can play in creating solutions to help confront pressing environmental challenges, as well as harness the power of the collective to help drive change. 

collaboration with Esplanade.

This year is also the first time that Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay joins WWF-Singapore as the Official Festival Partner. With this partnership, the former hopes to be future-forward in adopting sustainable practices. 

That is not to say they haven’t been environmentally conscious already: the centre’s iconic exterior was designed to reduce reliance on artificial lighting during daytime (when there would be sufficient sunlight to light up the interior). Furthermore, rainwater can be collected due to its structural columns, which is then used for irrigation and general cleaning around the facility.

In fact, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay has been granted the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark Platinum Award in recognition of “the developer’s strong commitment towards corporate social responsibility and outstanding achievements in environmental sustainability”

Not only that, but there have also been recycling efforts and the installation of a food digestor machine for organic food waste. In turn, the building has managed to reduce its general waste output to landfills by about 20 kg per month. In a year, that is about 240kg of waste, which is roughly the weight of one male alligator! 

Ms Yvonne Tham, Chief Executive Officer of Esplanade remarks that “As an arts centre, we share the responsibility of mitigating climate change. Esplanade has continually taken steps to care for the environment since we opened over 20 years ago, and we are committed to the goals of the Singapore Green Plan 2030.”

Earth Hour Festival. 

Image from WWF-SIngapore on Facebook.

From free thematic art performances, educational booths around climate change to talks by experts from WWF-Singapore, this weekend’s festival hopes to bring different communities together to support collective efforts to tackle the climate crisis. As the first in-person Earth Hour occasion since 2019, the Festival also hopes to encourage the public to come together to show their commitment to the people and the planet. 

Ultimately, this will culminate in the Switch Off Event that Earth Hour is known for, with over 1,000 individuals and businesses participating in the previous year. 

“WWF’s Earth Hour, as a global movement, celebrates our collective resolve in tackling the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges.” highlights WWF-Singapore’s CEO, Mr. R. Raghunathan, “Singapore has recently committed to the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. As many landmark buildings around Singapore go dark this Earth Hour, we are reminded that we can all make a difference and even acts like turning off non-essential lights and increasing air-conditioning temperature settings to 25 degree celsius can have an immense impact”.

activities at Earth Hour Festival. 

1. Sustainability Talks.

Image from Ferticlay on Instagram.

Experts from WWF-Singapore will be conducting talks to share more information regarding climate change and how it is affecting lives and livelihoods. Some topics of interest include Net Zero, Circular Economy, Conservation, and Coral Restoration. 

Besides the talks, there will also be DIY Sustainable building material workshops hosted by Ferticlay. Ferticlay strives to save what they consider “unavoidables”, scraps that would usually go into the dustbin after our meal has been prepared. Ferticlay rescues these materials (made out of things like eggshells, coffee grounds, avocado skins and can easily account for 40% of food waste!) and combines them with binders like clay and discarded paper. As a result, the end product is an alternative clay mixture that can be used for a variety of purposes. Here, their hands-on workshops this weekend will utilise this material and enable participants to create figurines. 

The signup link for both the talks and the workshop is here.

2. Photography in Nature Series Walks.

Furthermore, there will also be photography workshops conducted throughout the weekend. Photography in Nature Series Walks hopes to get the public exploring and discovering more about nature as part of WWF’s efforts to promote the preservation of nature.

Attendees will be taken on a walk in nature along a curated path at Singapore’s oldest heritage park, and will even be provided with a macro lens to take a closer look at things that cannot be normally seen with the naked eye. 

You can book your seats in advance here.

3. activity booklets for children.

Image from PIP’s PLAYbox.

If you’re curious about what younger ones can do at the Earth Hour Festival, there will be dedicated WWF Activity Booklets located at PIP’s PLAYbox to fill their time. Get to learn more about WWF and how to care for the planet, all while having fun simultaneously!

4. photo-taking with mascots.

Image from WWF-SIngapore on Facebook.

Besides that, there will also be photo-taking opportunities with mascots at the Esplanade Upper Concourse. Take a photograph with PIP, Esplanade’s friendly mascot, as well as WWF’s Panda mascot at the timeslots mentioned on the site here.  

5. free performances.

Both days will also see multiple free performances organised by Esplanade as part of Foreword and Soul Jam, the centre’s free programmes in March. The performances will include the Panik Record Showcase featuring music performances at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre. Not only that, poet, multidisciplinary artist and professional speaker, ArunDith, will be performing Earth Song, a spoken word performance, at the Esplanade Concourse ahead of the iconic Switch Off.

6. BONUS: Switch Off

To round off the day, the iconic Switch Off will be happening on Saturday, 25th March 2023, at around 8.30pm. Indeed, attendees will get to watch the iconic Singapore city skyline go dark for one hour in support of the movement and the planet. Now’s the chance to see how different the Singaporean landscape can be if it was completely dark!

Even if you can’t make it to Earth Houe Festival, it might be worth it to attempt this from the comfort of your own home. So switch off your lights for an hour, and spark a conversation with family members and friends on what taking care of the planet might mean to you.

other steps you can take beyond Earth Hour. 

Besides the festival, WWF-Singapore is also encouraging individuals to go Beyond The Hour. Take a stand for the environment by making small, actionable changes in your daily lives. This can involve changes like reducing the usage of single-use plastics, consuming more sustainably farmed seafood and produce, or even simply choosing eco-friendly packaging when shopping online. Deciding to purchase things more consciously can also help cultivate more responsible shopping habits, encouraging lesser waste to be generated.  

WWF-Singapore has also launched the Singapore Kosong Plan. A commitment to bring communities together to help achieve a low-carbon, climate-resilient Singapore, the increased attention given to the cause stems from heightened pressure to reach Singapore’s climate goals of reaching Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. So make pledges on the website here and in return, receive actionable tips on how you can accomplish your very own “Kosong Plan” goals! 

While the Earth Hour Festival might be taking place this weekend, the implications of Earth Hour are far beyond that. Take the opportunity presented to think about what Earth Hour should really mean for Singapore, and how we could potentially come together and help in the climate crisis beyond that. 


Like this article? Check out what you can do with your old phones in Singapore or 5 places to donate your items while spring cleaning to go Beyond the Hour!

raeanne

The copywriting intern who likes spending way too much of her free time looking for small trinkets and watching two hour long youtube video essays.

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