Museum flicks the switch for Earth Hour 2014

28 March 2014

At 20.30 on Saturday 29 March, the Natural History Museum will join buildings and monuments around the world and go dark for an hour.

Just before the National Lottery draw on TV this Saturday evening, an electrician will be standing by inside the Museum to manually turn off all unessential lights in support of Earth Hour 2014, a campaign to highlight the importance of environmental action worldwide.

Sydney trailblazer

Organised by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour has become the biggest grassroots environmental movement in history. It began as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and now engages more than 7,000 cities and towns worldwide.

Crowdsourcing for the environment

Earth Hour Blue was also launched this year as a digital crowdsourcing and crowdfunding platform to encourage people to continue the ethos of Earth Hour with support for campaigns throughout the year, either with a voice or money.

Projects include more than 250,000 Russians voting for better protection of their seas and forests, thousands of wood-saving stoves distributed to families in Madagascar, WWF Uganda's first Earth Hour forest and the installation of solar-powered lights in three Indian villages without electricity.

Although the Museum is closed in the evening, all lights not essential to safety will be turned off at the same times as those of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, the Chain Bridge and National Theatre in Budapest, Hungary and the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, among others.

The Museum has been supporting Earth Hour since 2010.

Environmental first

Ten years ago, the Natural History Museum was the first UK museum to be awarded the ISO14001 certificate, an international standard of environmental management. 

This recognises the Museum's ongoing commitment to manage and, where possible, improve its environmental impact, including waste, energy, water, travel and procurement, amid the challenges of maintaining a Grade I listed building.  

Museum mission

Much of the work of the 300 scientists at the Museum continues to feed into vital international research on climate change, biodiversity and sustainability

  • by Nicola Pearson