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A combination of two pictures shows the Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur  before and after the lights were switched off for earth hour on March 29, 2014.

The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, are dark during Earth Hour (top); their usual bright lights are shown at bottom.

PHOTOGRAPH BY ED JONES/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Angie McPherson

National Geographic

Published March 30, 2014

The bright green lights that typically illuminate the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur—the tallest twin buildings in the world—were turned off on Saturday for Earth Hour, an annual event aimed at raising awareness about energy consumption.

Dozens of other iconic landmarks around the world, including the Parthenon in Greece, the Golden Gate Bridge in California, and Australia's Sydney Harbor Bridge, participated in the event, sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The first Earth Hour took place in Sydney eight years ago to raise money for the Great Barrier Reef.

This year was expected to be the biggest event yet, with participants in an estimated 7,000 cities around the world switching off their lights for a full hour, according to WWF.

In this combination photo composed of two photographs, the Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill is seen before and after turning the lights were switched off to mark the annual Earth Hour in Athens, on Saturday March 29, 2014.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KOSTAS TSIRONIS, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Acropolis

Dating to 447 B.C., the Parthenon in Athens is one of the most famous surviving buildings of ancient Greece. The city of Athens turned off its buildings' lights for Earth Hour and asked locals to follow suit.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is seen plunged into darkness for the Earth Hour environmental campaign, among the first landmarks around the world to dim their lights for the event, on March 29, 2014.
PHOTOGRAPH BY WILLIAM WEST/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Sydney

Sydney Harbor Bridge is the largest steel arch bridge in the world, connecting its city's north and south harbors. Thousands of houses and businesses in Sydney were dark on Saturday.

A composite picture shows the Eiffel Tower illuminated (L) and with the lights turned off (R) for the Earth Hour in Paris, France, 29 Mars 2014.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ETIENNE LAURENT, EPA

Eiffel Tower

Built as an archway for an international world fair in 1889, the Eiffel Tower got some help from Spiderman in turning its lights off on Saturday.

A combination picture shows Times Square before (top) and during Earth Hour in New York March 29, 2014.
PHOTOGRAPH BY EDUARDO MUNOZ, REUTERS

The Big Apple

Times Square is the busiest commercial intersection in New York City and the world's most visited tourist attraction. For the first time ever, the city called in a specialist to turn off its New Year's Eve ball, which typically remains on throughout the year.

This combination of pictures shows the monument to Belarus humanist Francysk Skaryna and the National library (R) submerging into darkness for the Earth Hour environmental campaign in central Minsk on March 29, 2014.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SERGEI GAPON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Minsk, Belarus

In the Belarusian capital of Minsk, the monument to humanist Francysk Skaryna is usually lit by the bright purple lights from the National Library. Big department stores and universities also turned off their lights in Minsk on Saturday.

The combination picture shows the Brandenburg Gate before and during the 'Earth Hour' in Berlin, Germany, 29 March 2014.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SOEREN STACHE, PICTURE-ALLIANCE/DPA VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate was built in 1791 as an entryway to Berlin. It survived World War II but with extensive damage. The Earth Hour motto in Germany this year: "You don't need to be a superhero to take action on climate change."

A composite picture of Alhambra palace before (top) and after (bottom) its lighting was turned off during the celebration of Earth Hour in Granada city, Andalusia region, southern Spain, 29 March 2014.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JESUS OCHANDO, EPA

The Alhambra

The Alhambra, a fortress-turned-palace that dates to 1258, watches over the city of Granada in southern Spain.

25 comments
Sunday Dada
Sunday Dada

The MAN that GOD created is wonderful
 to me.

Risha Vaidya
Risha Vaidya

We should try to organise an earth hour at least once in two months too.

J  R  FRANCIS Jr.
J R FRANCIS Jr.

I   feel   it     worthy   of   us    to   have      an   Earth   Hour    every    month...Let   the    authorities    ponder    over  it..          

Richard Elkhal
Richard Elkhal

There should be more advertising about Earth Hour in advance so more people know about it and more people participate.

pamela letstalkaboutcorsica
pamela letstalkaboutcorsica

been wondering for ages, why shops/stores just about every where around the world, remain lit up all night long - wouldn't the fact of turning off these lights have helped somewhat since x years by now ? it's a drop in the ocean, I admit - but, a drop with another drop etc., would then be a chain of thought, leading to other ideas.

All of this waste beats me.

Nancy Gilbert
Nancy Gilbert

I think the medieval buildings should be lit only be torches as was originally planned.

Alanna Parker
Alanna Parker

Why can't they shut off half the lights in every high rise in the world, you would still see the buildings and it would make a huge difference! With all the smart people in this world I just don't get why this hasn't been done already!

Vijaya Karri
Vijaya Karri

Thankful to all authors of the phographs

Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

In a well known city in India, I remember electricity being staggered each day for an hour, and in your home you just waited it out, with no effort at all ! Mumbai, (Bombay),staggered the water supply to different area's of the city each day. That was indeed a hardship for the people,but better than having none at all ! I dont know if this still prevails, but I'd hope so.  j.e.s........

Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

So a lot of lights around the world went off for an hour ! Then they came on again ! Excuse me for asking,but what exactly did that do ? IF the lights of these very same places went off say for an hour once a month, then you'd have something.  j.e.s......

Joaquín Marín Domínguez
Joaquín Marín Domínguez

The Alhambra is probably the most beautiful palace in the world. Surely, the most amazing I've ever seen. And the city of Granada is the perfect one for this marvellous building. Below the Alhambra is the Paseo de los Tristes, next to the river, where the sound of the water brings you to a dream.

Wayne Caswell
Wayne Caswell

Light pollution from artificial electric lights also affects our health and is responsible for millions of deaths a year, because of the direct link between sleep deprivation and higher risks of obesity, diabetics, heart disease, cancer, depression, stroke,and Alzheimer's.

Air and light pollution are both a result of population growth and will only get worse without serious intervention. World population has more than doubled in my lifetime, for 2.7 billion in 1948 to over 7 billion today. That's a lot of people to feed, but we keep replacing farm land with housing. And with people living longer, will the problem worsen? Or will contraception and homosexuality lessen the population growth?

Geetha Mohan
Geetha Mohan

Earth hour is respect given to mother earth. I hope she is happy we give in a small way. 

Abd Elmeseeh Karm
Abd Elmeseeh Karm

i got an idea about get more power (clean renewable power):during car running we could put something runing by wind and convert it to power directly to the care.

Alex Howe
Alex Howe

Why if its to raise awareness about energy consumption, an hour later they turn the lights back on?

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