Earth Hour

09 March 2020

Take action to help save the earth

What is Earth Hour?

Earth Hour is a campaign run by WWF each year on 28th March 2020 8:30pm-9:30pm. The goal is to inspire people to reduce their energy consumption, by taking simple steps that will have a dramatic effect.

The University is taking measures to reduce energy use during this weekend as well as encouraging staff and students to also take individual actions to reduce energy use in the weeks leading up to the event.

Why take action?

Because it’s part of a global movement to raise awareness of the issues. We have a potential for real savings. It also contributes towards the University’s sustainability goals.

What can you do?

In the weeks before Earth Hour (16th-27th March) we’d like departments to encourage energy conscious behaviours and raise awareness about best practice to reduce energy demand.

We’ve put together some top tips to help advise on some actions individuals can take during this time to help the University’s efforts for Earth Hour.

We hope these tips will be useful in the long term and not just for Earth Hour! 

Top tips to save energy

Take the initiative to turn off lights that are not needed.

Turn equipment such as computers off at the plug - not just on standby! The Energy Savings Trust states that up to £80 a year is wasted in the average home due to appliances left on standby. 

If you use a desktop computer, set up 'sleep' mode - we recommend a time delay of 10 minutes of inactivity. Sleep mode uses just a few watts of energy, a sharp contrast to using a screen-saver, which consumes almost the same energy as having your computer monitor in full use.

Don’t leave laptops or mobiles on constant charge or charging unnecessarily. Remove unnecessary chargers from the plug to save energy.

Everyone is responsible for energy saving actions, but consider electing volunteers to check that all computers are switched off at the plug, windows are closed, chargers and unnecessary equipment is unplugged and lights are turned off at the end of each working day.

Produce a plan of who is responsible for certain actions in the long term - consider this on a rota-basis so the responsibility is shared.

Speak to the relevant staff to find out what can and can’t be turned off!

Increasing awareness

Make use of communication channels: email, noticeboards, posters, social media, blogs etc. There’s a range of ways to communicate about the importance of being more energy conscious!

Include Earth Hour media in your emails and social media channels.

On social media, use the hashtags #EarthHour and #Connect2Earth to show your support and share your actions.

Spread the Earth Hour awareness with fellow staff and students.

Encouraging others

Use reward methods - leaving treats such as chocolate on the desks of those who take part in good actions is an effective way to reward good behaviour, and to encourage others to do the same!

At the end of a random day, do a check of computers and reward the correct people by leaving a treat on their desk. You can then reveal the next day why some people received treats and others didn’t.

Repeat the activity at another random time, perhaps a few days or a week after, and see if there is an improvement!

Reporting issues

Have an issue in your department with lighting, heating or equipment?

It’s important that individuals take responsibility for ensuring these issues are reported.

Contact the EFM Helpdesk on 0114 222 9000, or send an email to

Get in touch

We’d love to hear about the great things you’ve been doing in preparation for and during Earth Hour! Send us your photos, tag our social media accounts and document your achievements for us to share on our new sustainability blog!


Twitter : @sheffieldunisustain

Facebook : Sustainability at Sheffield

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