Seoul joins the 2022 Earth Hour campaign by turning lights off on major landmarks
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Seoul joins the 2022 Earth Hour campaign by turning lights off on major landmarks
  • Park Sae-eun
  • 승인 2022.04.11 12:21
  • 수정 2022.04.23 23:44
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Running Point and WWF-Korea held a contact-free marathon whereparticipants were given a package of WWF goods and workout supplements.Photo provided by Jang Yun-jeong
Running Point and WWF-Korea held a contact-free marathon whereparticipants were given a package of WWF goods and workout supplements.Photo provided by Jang Yun-jeong

 

 

 

 

The Seoul Metropolitan Government joined the 2022 Earth Hour by turninglights off on major landmarks. Photo provided by ©WWF-Korea
The Seoul Metropolitan Government joined the 2022 Earth Hour by turninglights off on major landmarks. Photo provided by ©WWF-Korea

The Seoul Metropolitan Government joined the 2022 Earth Hour campaign by shutting lights off on 50 major landmarks in the city on March 26. Some of the landmarks included Namsan Seoul Tower, Lotte World Tower, the National Assembly building, and the Hangang Bridge.

 

The Earth Hour campaign is an international movement started by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2007 to encourage individuals and communities to turn off electric lights. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has been participating in the Earth Hour since 2008, and the event is held annually on the last Saturday of March from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time. The campaign aims to raise awareness on climate change and more than 190 countries showed their solidarity with it as of 2022.

 

WWF set the theme for 2022 Earth Hour as “Shape Our Future” to emphasize that the current climate emergency is catastrophic more than ever. WWF-Korea explained that there has been unprecedented wildfires, floods, and temperature change around the globe including the North Pole. The theme “Shape Our Future” urges that today's generations must focus on conserving the nature for future generations starting now.

 

WWF-Korea accordingly launched a marathon campaign under the theme from March 26 to April 10 with Running Point, a platform that offers information on marathon schedules and registration. The “Earth Hour Run” marathon was held in celebration of this year's Earth Hour.

 

WWF-Korea's marketing and communication team leader Park Min-hye explained that she was concerned about how COVID-19 might hinder the participation of citizens in environmental movements. She sought for a safe activity that people could partake under the record high number of COVID-19 cases in Korea and contact-free marathon became a breakthrough. Park also believed that Earth Hour Run was a perfect event for the millennials and the Generation Z who enjoy meaningful hobbies like flog games.

 

The registration period for the marathon was from Feb. 28 to April 5, and WWF-Korea explained that all 1,000 entry tickets for the marathon sold out quickly at an unexpected rate. Participants could either choose between 3.26 kilometers and 8.30 kilometers for running distances. 3.26 kilometers stand for the date of 2022 Earth Hour while 8.30 represents the starting time of the campaign.

 

Those who signed up for the marathon were all given an Earth Hour Run package that consisted of oat milk, low-fat milk, protein drinks, energy bars, WWF stickers, and a WWF panda badge regardless of the running distance. Park elaborated that WWFKorea minimized the use of plastic in the package and collaborated with Maeil Dairies as the company promotes paper straws instead of plastic for their products.

 

The package also included a marathon number tag, a wooden medal, and a face mask. WWF-Korea offered random endangered animal keychains during early bird registration as well.

 

“We as humanity live sharing borders but nature has no borders,” Park said. “We have a responsibility to protect our one and only home — the Earth. Like this year's Earth Hour theme, we could shape our future that we dream of only if all of us cooperate in protecting the nature.”

 

Jang Yun-jeong, a 23-year-old undergraduate student, recently ran in the Earth Hour Run. She considered environmental movements simply as a hobby in the past but as she realized the severe impact that the climate change could bring about, Jang was eager to take action in eco-friendly movements and formed Youth Change the Environment (YCE), an organization for youths who are interested in environmental issues.

 

Jang has been leading the YCE for five years. As she searched for environmental campaigns that they could sign up for this year, she came across the Earth Hour Run marathon.

 

Between the two distance choices, Jang ran 3.26 kilometers for the Earth Hour Run on March 26. She also used stairs instead of elevators and a tumbler at cafés on the marathon day.

 

“As this year's Earth Hour theme is 'shape our future,' everyone must take proactive measures regarding the global climate crisis,” Jang said. “Nobody is given an exemption from climate change as long as we are on Earth. We must shape our future starting today not only for the future generation, but also for the future of ourselves.”


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