LIST: Ways to participate in the upcoming Earth Hour

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 24) — Every year since 2007, the world observes Earth Hour as a campaign to protect the planet and combat climate change. This year, the annual hour-long lights off will be observed on Saturday, March 25, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in respective local time.

As part of the advocacy of saving Mother Earth, Filipinos were urged to engage in the following activities:

Strengthen environmental awareness through educational films

With the theme "The Biggest Hour for the Earth," the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) urges the public to "give an hour for Earth, spending 60 minutes doing something — anything — positive for our planet."

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Friday suggested watching documentaries or educational films to raise awareness of the climate crisis.

These films include the three-minute videos WWF Entangled Series on biodiversity loss, deep seabed mining, planet plastic and nature-based solution.

DENR also said listening to podcasts or talks about the environment will help gain understanding on environmental issues.

Turn non-essential lights off

Switching off lights has become a symbol of "commitment to the planet," DENR said.

"The one-hour "lights off" action significantly lowers energy consumption, thus reducing carbon emission and harmful greenhouse gasses (GHG), whose biggest source is electricity," DENR said in a statement.

Patrick Aquino of the Department of Energy explained that the annual Earth Hour generated up to 100 megawatts reduction in electricity consumption.

"Earth Hour is a collective effort that all of our individual actions, added up together, makes a significant impact," Aquino told CNN Philippines The Final Word on Thursday.

According to WWF, the "hour of darkness pulls us out of the busyness of our daily routines" and "allows us to reflect" and "take action" on the "accelerating biodiversity loss and climate change."

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. also joined the call for Filipinos to participate, citing data from the International Energy Agency which showed that global carbon emissions reached to a new all-time high of 36.8 gigatons last year. According to NASA, the mass of a gigaton is equivalent to 10,000 fully-loaded US aircraft carriers.

"It only takes 60 minutes to do good for our future, 60 minutes to take notice and commit to saving Mother Nature to be united and to take action because together, nothing is impossible," Marcos said in a video posted in his YouTube page.

Engage in other collective efforts

DENR urged the public to properly dispose of waste at home, schools and offices, as solid wastes contribute to generating harmful greenhouse gasses.

Manufacturing sectors were also reminded to manage and take responsibility for the waste they produce.

Meanwhile, local governments were called upon to participate in Earth Hour by "switching off their signage lights or some of their lights in their facilities, as the business operations will allow."

"Let us unite with the rest of the world in caring for our one and only home, Mother Earth. Ang simpleng pagpatay ng inyong mga ilaw ay malaking tulong na para makabawas sa epekto ng climate change," Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr. said in a statement.

[Translation: The simple act of turning off your lights is a big help in reducing the effects of climate change.]

Filipinos were also urged to engage in activities prepared by their respective local government, which include conducting virtual roundtable livestream and dissemination of publicity materials.

Angela Consuelo Ibay, national director for Earth Hour and WWF Philippines, called on local governments to provide facilities for conserving water and to adopt other renewable energy sources.

"Kailangan hindi lang tayo nag-appreciate ng environment," Ibay told CNN Philippines Newsroom Ngayon. "Kailangan maisip ng tao na ang enerhiya ay pwede natin ma-conserve at i-preserve."

[Translation: We need to not only appreciate the environment, we also have to keep in mind that energy can be conserved and preserved.]

For Alexander Ablaza, president of Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance, Earth Hour is a stepping stone for the country to mainstream its energy conservation efforts.

"By conserving energy, by using energy more efficiently, we can actually reduce emissions, defer infrastructure upgrades, decelerate the rise in energy prices," Ablaza told CNN Philippines' The Exchange.

"The country, through Earth Hour, should start to think of energy efficiency not as a band-aid strategy. Earth Hour should mainstream energy efficiency as an energy resource...with or without the [energy] crisis," he added.

WWF Philippines will also conduct an event for Earth Hour at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, which includes a sustainability fair and musical performances, among others.

Earth Hour began in 2007 as a lights out event in Sydney, Australia. Since then, it has been observed globally around the last weekend of March, as it marks the beginning of summer.

According to WWF, over 190 countries participate in the annual event.