Earth Hour to take place at 8:30pm on Saturday

Candles. Photo credit: file

Lights will be turned off across the country on Saturday evening to mark the 11th annual Earth Hour event.

Launched in 2007 by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the hour asks people to turn off non-essential electric lights from 8:30pm to 9:30pm on a specific day at the end of March.

Several countries turn the lights off at national landmarks for the occasion; in the past the UK's Tower Bridge, Italy's Coliseum and France's Eiffel Tower have gone dark.

The WWF NZ is encouraging Kiwis to be creative with how they celebrate Earth Hour, such as hosting a candlelit dinners or going stargazing from 8:30pm to 9:30pm.

In the UK WWF has also suggested other actions to go alongside Earth Hour, such as carrying a reusable coffee cup, switching to a green energy supplier or washing clothing at 30degC or below.

The gesture is intended to symbolise people and businesses taking accountability for their ecological footprint and looking at ways to help the environment.

The actual change in electricity from Earth Hour is minimal, with a 2014 report putting the dip at around 4 percent.

In 2010 ACT on Campus member Rick Giles told TV3's Sunrise New Zealanders should not celebrate Earth Hour as it uses petroleum candles and is in his view anti-technology.