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For the first time, Earth Hour will be reaching space in 2012 with Astronaut André Kuipers observing from the International Space Station on March 31 at 8:30PM.

Wherever you are and wherever you live turn out your lights for Earth Hour: March 31, 2012 at 8:30pm local time.

Earth Hour 2012: 8.30pm, Saturday 31 March -- switch off the lights and celebrate your action for the planet with the world. I will, will you do?

Earth Hour went to space for the very first time in 2012, with astronaut André Kuipers observing the hour of darkness from the International Space Station. This image of a salt lake in the Australian Outback was shared as Sydney, Earth Hour’s home city, switched off for the hour of inspiration. This is the reason we do Earth Hour every year, to protect the one thing that unites us all - the planet.

This image of light infiltration in the Alps was shared with the Earth Hour community on March 31, as the hour of inspiration made its way across Europe. André Kuipers observed the lights going off from the International Space Station. Earth Hour 2012 took place in 152 countries and territories and nearly 7000 cities and towns - the biggest growth for the campaign since 2009. This is our planet - what are you willing to do to protect it?

This image of Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia was shared just as the world’s largest country kicked off its first Earth Hour celebration for 2012. The event took place 9 different times in Russia, as the clocks reached 8:30PM in the various timezones. Organisers say some 15 million Russians took part this year, 40 per cent more than in 2011. These images were shared to celebrate astronaut André Kuipers observing the world switch off from the International Space Station.

By Jen Devonshire. The designs are in and now it's your turn to vote for your favourite Earth Hour poster!

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This year, Earth Hour will take place at 8.30-9.30 p.m. local time. It happens today, March 31. The event, which involves participants symbolically turning off their lights as a reminder to mind Earth's resources, has become the world's largest voluntary action that spotlights climate change and the need for sustainability.

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What if Environmentalism Were as Big as Social Media? [INFOGRAPHIC]

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