County Durham’s residents, companies and schools are being encouraged to switch their lights off for one hour as part of the Earth Hour 2018 project.

Organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Earth Hour is an annual event that asks people to power down in order to raise awareness of climate change and other environmental problems.

Last year’s Earth Hour saw hundreds of millions of people around the globe – and nine million in the UK – putting their lights out.

For Earth Hour 2018, Durham County Council will be switching the lights off at its main offices on Friday afternoon and will be encouraging all its partners to do the same.

Durham University will be switching as many of its non-essential lights off as possible. The university is asking its staff and students to make ‘a promise to the planet’ by going lights out for an hour.

Anybody can make the same pledge by visiting For every pledge made, £1.00 will be donated to environmental causes.

Many of County Durham’s primary schools will also be taking part, including Esh Winning Primary School, whose Earth Hour Champions have been engaging in various activities to learn about climate change.

Schools that would like to find out more about Earth Hour can get in touch with OASES by telephoning 03000 260 565 or emailing [email protected].

This year’s lights-out event will begin at 8.30 pm on Saturday 24th March although many activities will be held on Friday 23rd March.

As well as urging people to switch off their lights, the World Wide Fund for Nature is asking them to make a pledge that will help the environment, such as switching to green energy, eating less meat, using a reusable coffee cup or promising not to use plastic bags.

Earth Hour 2017 was marked in 187 countries. More than 3,000 well-known landmarks and monuments switched their lights off, including Edinburgh Castle, the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace and Sydney Opera House.

To learn more about Earth Hour 2018 and find out about events in your area, please go to

You can also follow developments on the Twitter hashtag #EarthHourUK.

(The featured image shows some of Esh Winning Primary School’s Earth Hour Champions.)

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