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How We Filipinos Can Help Save The Planet Alongside The Rest Of Humanity This March

If you've never celebrated Earth Hour, now is the perfect time to start

There are a few channels on YouTube that live stream views of Earth from space. Here's one of them. 

You see rare glimpses of home—humanity's collective home—from the eyes of astronauts, from aliens (maybe), and from God/an all-knowing, supreme being that reigns over this galaxy and beyond. Real-time footage show night and day at the same time, side by side. We see where oceans meet land, where there's more ice than there is forest, where clouds are sparse and where rain pours relentlessly, and where we ourselves are located, tiny pinpricks of life in an endless expanse of planet and universe.

It's mesmerizing, really. 

It makes you feel small and big at the same time. Small for plain reasons—how important is your existence when compared with that of everyone and everything else's? And big for less obvious reasons—despite being "small," persons, just like you, have the power to save or destroy a planet and all the life it sustains. 

It's a thought we wanted everyone to reflect on this weekend.

It's Earth Hour 2021 today, March 27, Saturday, the second we celebrate during the pandemic and the 14th we've observed since the practice began in 2007. 

But with the pandemic in the background, this year we'll witness the first ever Earth Hour "Virtual Spotlight" event. 

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All things Earth Hour are all the more relevant today when humanity has hit a big reset; the COVID crisis hasn't just forced us to re-examine our physical well-being, but it's also brought to light our social interconnectedness, our mental and emotional health, our priorities, and of course, our relationships with the Earth. 

Current circumstances make Earth Hour 2021 extra special.

Instead of just following the practice of turning off our lights and unplugging our electronic devices and appliances for one hour, we're tasked with but a simple job—to share a video especially made for the occasion with as many people as possible. The piece of media is meant to inspire us all to keep fighting the good fight—caring for Earth and ensuring it stays healthy for millennia to come, even when there forces that threaten to undermine our efforts. 

After all, isn't one of the things we've longed for the most at this time to be outside again, free to roam big, open, green spaces? Environmental initiatives like Earth Hour remind us of our role in keeping these spaces safe. 

The special Earth Hour 2021 video will be launched on March 27 and will be shareable on all major social media platforms. 

"This year—amidst the current global circumstances—in addition to switching off your lights, we also invite you to raise awareness and create the same unmissable sight online, so that the world sees our planet, the issues we face, and our place within it, in a new light," reads the Earth Hour website. 

It's the first event to kick off a campaign leading to the United Nations' Conference for Biodiversity later this year where they are expected to discuss strategies for restoring nature by the year 2030. And when you learn that the Philippines contributes two thirds of the planet's entire biodiversity and a whopping 70% of Earth's planet and animal species, how can you, as a Filipino, not be moved to participate in the movement? All it takes is a few taps of a finger to your screen, and you've already helped in a small way.

So what do you say? 

We'll see you virtually then! Once the lights are out, we can all look up at the night sky that envelopes our home, Earth—the one and only we'll ever have.

Opening images from Pexels and Unsplash