Earth Hour in our Romanian Country Hub

Earth Hour is an international event that takes place every year on the last Saturday of March. Its purpose is to raise awareness among people about the issue of carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere during the production of electricity. This event consists of turning the light off and unplugging all unnecessary household appliances, voluntarily for one hour, , not only by individuals, but also by institutions.

This campaign was born in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 and has now reached a global stage. In Romania, Earth Hour is celebrated since 2009, evolving as a popular event, an annual “contest” in creative initiatives and a symbolic gesture replicated in people’s homes across the entire country.

Earth Hour 2024 – Archeological Park Constanta

In Constanta, SHORE partner, the NGO Mare Nostrum, celebrates Earth Hour since 2012, gathering volunteers, young children, parents, students, and professors into parks and decorating the alleys with candles in paper lampposts by arranging them into figures (dolphins, stars, or written words) or having various activities for participants.

This year, Mare Nostrum celebrated “Earth Hour 2024” in the Archeological Park of Constanta, on 23 March, between 8:30pm and 9:30pm. More than 1200 people accepted Mare Nostrum’s invitation to let the planet breath for 1 hour. They formed, 40 different groups from 24 educational institutions, coordinated by 68 teachers.

Earth Hour 2024 – Archeological Park Constanta

The educational institutions were also invited to prepare a pledge, a promise or a commitment for the environment. 15 groups designed 35 posters, that contained a promise to the sea and have been exhibited throughout the event.

By creating pledges and commitments for the sea, students not only demonstrate their understanding of the importance of ocean conservation but also actively participate in promoting ocean literacy. This hands-on activity fosters a deeper appreciation for the ocean and empowers the younger generation in taking ownership of their role in protecting it. Furthermore, exhibiting these posters throughout the event amplified the message of ocean literacy to a wider audience, sparking conversations and inspiring others to take action. In this way, the connection between creating pledges for the environment, specifically for the sea, and promoting ocean literacy is evident in both the educational process and the public engagement aspect of the initiative.

Besides this challenge, the participants were asked to create artistic moments, such as poetry, singing or dancing, to make a promise to the environment. These actions contributed to maintaining a joyful mood.

This event was part of the SHORE project and marked the beginning of a series of four events in Romania focused on local communities. The purpose of these events is to increase awareness of ocean literacy and show how local communities can contribute to change.