It’s lights out for Earth once again, as people around the world prepare for the sixth annual Earth Hour. This time, however, the World Wildlife Fund is giving participants an opportunity to make a contribution that will last much longer than an hour.
As per usual, on Sunday, March 31, the World Wildlife Fund will ask households and businesses to turn off all superfluous lights for sixty minutes, raising awareness for the need to address climate change. The difference this year is that the organization and agency Leo Burnett have partnered with YouTube to support the new “I Will If You Will” campaign.
Instead of just turning off the lights for an hour, IWIYW is a social video initiative where people give and accept personal challenges to take positive action for the environment. Users can go to the “I will if you will” video platform on YouTube.com to find challenges that appeal to them, and set them for others.
For example, one father reluctantly donning a pink tiara pledges that he will wear whatever his daughter tells him to if 5,000 people will commit to recycling in 2012. At the bottom of the challenge, you can hit a button accepting, and view a bar that shows how many people have accepted so far. (At 712, Dad is safe for another week at least.)
A more interesting challenge for some will be the challenge posed by supermodel Miranda Kerr, who has also teamed up with WWF for this year’s Earth Hour. She has committed to conduct a free yoga lesson for 500 fans if they make a pledge to upload their own challenge vide. (At 468 takers, Miranda will be visiting Lululemon very soon.) Other celebrities are expected to contribute pledges too.
Earth Hour started in 2007 as an effort between the WWF and the Sydney Morning Herald. Over two million Sydney residents participated. The next year, Earth Hour spread beyond Australia, and last year over 135 countries and territories participated.
For 2012, the International Space Station has become involved as well. They will be watching our planet from far above as the lights dim on March 31, live-blogging the experience, complete with photos. Astronaut Andre Kuipers will even be chiming in on Twitter. Earth Hour has officially become an intergalactic affair.
Watch the video below for a look at the momentum the campaign has built over the last few years.