On March 31, UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors called attention to the ‘UN International Year for Sustainable Energy for All’ by participating in Earth Hour. Using social media, Gisele Bundchen, Sachin Tendulkar and Li Bingbing energized and inspired communities across the Middle East, Africa and Europe to unite for a common cause – the protection of the planet.
Earth Hour is a worldwide event held each year on the last Saturday of March. The campaign is designed to encourage households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about the need to take action on change. The initiative began in the early 70s with 20 million people demanding a more sustainable environment and by 2012; it was celebrated by billions of people from more than 147 nations.
India’s leading Cricket legend and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar participated in a cricket match in his home town- Mumbai during Earth Hour. As someone who inspires billions across India, the much loved sports star was the Indian face of Earth Hour 2012, encouraging individuals, organizations, institutions and groups to participate in the cause.
Speaking on his involvement, Tendulkar said: "It is heartening to see how a single action of switching off lights for Earth Hour can bring the world together to pledge action towards a better environment. I am happy to be a part of this movement and encourage others to participate as well."
In neighboring China, actress and fellow Goodwill Ambassador, Li Bingbing, joined in a mini marathon in conjunction with hundreds of university students during an Earth Hour event that took place at the Great Wall of China. She also visually pledged her ongoing commitment for the environment in 2012 by holding paper leaves to celebrate the Earth Hour.
Meanwhile, Brazilian supermodel and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Gisele Bundchen demonstrated her passion for the environment and encouraged her fans to be part of Earth Hour by placing a virtual switch on her website and blog that when clicked darkened their computer screens, and gave them an opportunity to reflect on the importance of sustainable energy.
Earth Hour may be over, but we can take a cue from our Goodwill Ambassadors, and act to accelerate the transition to a green economy - every hour of every day.