Lights out tonight as Finland marks Earth Hour

Activities in Finland have evolved from just switching out the lights, to other activities that highlight the climate change crisis.

File picture of lights at Särkänniemi in Tampere / Credit: iStock

The lights go out at 20:30 this evening in locations across the country, as the World Wildlife Fund WWF organises the annual Earth Hour event.

It’s a call to save energy and above all else, make a gesture to show your concern for the environment and climate crisis.

Pori schools and kindergartens got started early with their Earth Hour efforts, as pupils ate vegetarian food on Friday to mark the event. In Rauma too, some students spent an hour in Friday classes with the lights out to show their support for the event.

Despite the tradition of turning out the lights – for example, churches in Turku will go black on Saturday evening – more activities in Finland are focusing on their wider environmental impact.

Some restaurants in Helsinki and other cities are planning candlelight dinners with environmentally-friendly dishes.

In Lahti, in addition to ‘dark dinners’ there are new activities arranged for Earth Hour including at the swimming hall where it’s possible to swim in natural light, or walk outside on guided nature tours during the evening.

“We have taken part in this since Earth Hour arrives in Finland” says Lotta Palomäki from a local nature conservancy group.

“Fist we just put our lights off, but later we began excursions in the woods. The treks always end up at interesting nature attractions”.

Earth Hour first took place in Sydney Australia in 2007, and now is one of the world’s largest grassroots environment movements.