At 8.30pm on Saturday 19 March 2016 the lights will go out around the world to celebrate WWF Earth Hour 2016. Each year millions of people join in by switching off any non-essential lights for one hour  to help create a symbolic and spectacular display in a global celebration of our brilliant planet.

More than 10 million people in the UK took part in this year’s event with switch-offs from global landmarks like Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House.

#CandlelitDinners at the heart of it

SRA Members could be at the very heart of the celebrations, as we have agreed with the organisers, WWF, that #CandleLitDinners will be the main focus of the 2016 event – the 10th year of WWF’s Earth Hour and we’re really keen for all Food Made Good venues to have the opportunity to be at the heart of this milestone event.

A number of SRA Members ran #CandleLitDinners this year, in an extremely successful pilot, organised at short notice. We were thrilled at the positive response. Those involved, created themed menus, raised money for WWF and in a number of cases restaurants experienced their busiest night since New Year’s Eve. The feedback from those who participated was overwhelmingly positive.

Louise Chapman of Arbor Restaurant, said: “A number of guests said it made them think about sustainable issues during dinner, and what changes they could make.  Some guests even asked that we didn’t turn the lights back on, because they loved the atmosphere and enjoyed being part of a global event.”

And Members already signed up to participate in 2016 include: Brasserie Blanc, OXO Tower Restaurant Bar & Brasserie, The Savoy and River Cottage.

We want to make 2016 even bigger and better and there are a number of ways you could get involved and show your support. All you need to do is:

  • Switch off any non-essential lights between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on Saturday 19 March 2016 (this can be just any external lighting or signage, or the main bar or eating area).
  • Use it as an opportunity to engage diners by holding special candlelit dinners on the night or in the week leading up to Earth Hour.
  • Better yet, have the whole bar or restaurant filled with candles! You can substitute real candle with LEDs if you’d prefer.

Here are some further ideas to celebrate and get involved with WWF’s Earth Hour:

  • Create your own special ‘Earth Hour’ dish or drink – the more sustainable, the better! See WWF’s Livewell Principles on sustainable food to help guide you.

This year owner/chef Jim Cowie really went to town at The Captain’s Galley, creating an eight-course Taste of the North Highlands menu, featuring crab, lobster, scallops, razor clams, sea bass – none of which was caught by net and all of the ingredients came from within 50 miles – not easy in Britain’s most northerly mainland restaurant in March.

  • Have an Earth Hour or WWF themed quiz, focusing on incredible species facts, stars and country landmarks… with some general knowledge thrown in! Take a look at WWF’s downloadable templates.
  • Have a special star themed Open Mic or acoustic session during the hour to help set the mood for your customers.

The Table Café in south London put on a 50s night with a menu and music to match – giving diners the extra added fun of sparklers

  • Raise some money for WWF – add a round up option to your bill or hold a raffle.

Taking part in WWF’s Earth Hour is:

  • A great chance to show your customers, staff and partners that you care about sustainability and raise awareness of your Food Made Good status and SRA Membership
  • Your chance to be part of a global environmental event
  • A great PR opportunity, supported by the media relations and resources we will be developing with WWF for the event – including posters, postcards and other materials.

How to get involved

If you would like to be a part of WWF’s Earth Hour 2016 or want more information, then please contact Nick Stewart on 020 7479 4221 or nick@thesra.org by 1 December.

We will survey Members who participated this year and those who express an interest in Earth Hour 2016 to find out which resources will be most useful.

This is a terrific opportunity to get involved with a well-known and global sustainability initiative and brand, so we encourage Members to express an interest.