Members of the group Green Hope UAE light candles at the Earth Hour event in Dubai. Image Credit: Kehkashan Basu, Gulf News reader

The global population has crossed 7 billion and our planet’s finite resources are under tremendous strain. Our energy needs are met by fossil fuels and as a result, we belch out millions of tonnes of toxic carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every day, slowly but surely choking the life out of our fragile ecosystems.

We must stop this uncontrolled march towards self-destruction before it is too late. Thus, Earth Hour was an event of immense significance as it reminded civil society to move to a zero carbon lifestyle.

Our youth organisation, Green Hope UAE, founded on the principles of sustainability and green economy was privileged to be chosen as one of the partners in Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (Dewa) campaign at Bay Avenue Park, Dubai.

More than 50 of our youth volunteers spent several hours spreading awareness amongst the thousands of visitors who came to the event. Our booth had unique interactive sessions, which sought to educate the visitors on the current environmental crisis and steps that could help alleviate the same. All visitors to our booth took an eco-pledge, which they wrote on a piece of paper and stuck on a cut-out of a tree, the “Tree of Hope”. The young visitors also enjoyed clicking their “green selfies”, posing with a square photo frame.

We were felicitated by Dewa for taking part in this campaign. Engaging civil society, especially young people is an effective way of driving change and Dewa’s efforts in this regard are indeed unique and laudable.

— The reader is a student based in Dubai and the founder of Green Hope UAE.