The Earth Hour event has been held since 2007, when the Australia Office of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) proposed various Sidney businesses and establishments, as well as regular citizens to switch off electricity for one hour. The event was designed to draw the nation's attention to the problem of climate change. Next year, the Earth Hour was held around the world.
This year, on March 24, Belarus took part in the event for the tenth time. Traditionally, the last or next to the last Saturday of March, from 20:30 till 21:30 local time, various businesses and establishments switch their building backlights off, while residents are invited to switch off electricity in their homes and spend an hour doing things that do not require electricity.
In spite of the event scale, it does not bring a major saving of electricity, though the organizers regularly report the amount of energy saved. However, the Earth Hour's goals are largely symbolic, to draw the public's attention to the climate change and excessive energy consumption problems.
Nongovernmental organizations, companies and public agencies supported the Earth Hour by all sorts of activities. As part of the environmental events, large supermarket chains lowered prices on LED lamps, candle-lit acoustic concerts were held in various cities, backlights of a number of buildings and structures throughout the country, including the Mir and Niasviž Castles, the Minsk Central Department Store and the National Library, city parks and squares were traditionally switched off. Besides, the Earth Hour was marked with bike rides and ecological master classes for parents and children, where they learnt how to change their habits in order to reduce their negative impact on the environment.