"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." – Margaret Mead.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." – Margaret Mead.

This is perhaps one of my favorite quotes. I find it to be inspiring and powerful. Just when a person may feel like giving up, dropping out, or stopping the push forward, if only he would just think this one thought – it might give him the strength to go on.

This Saturday, March 23, at 8:30 p.m. local time, the World Wildlife Fund has declared "Earth Hour!" The WWF is imploring people around the globe to turn off their lights for one hour. By turning off your lights for these 60 minutes, you will send a message that you stand with all the Americans and millions of people around the world that have taken the pledge that you care about sharing the opportunities and challenges of creating a sustainable world.

This is not happening in just our little corner of the world. In 2012, over 2.2 million people on seven continents with over 152 countries, 7,000 cities, and 2,000 businesses pledged to switch off their lights for Earth Hour. Participate, and you will be in solidarity with millions of people around the world!

Even supermodel, Miranda Kerr is offering a free yoga class for the public if 500 of her fans commit to create their own, "I Will If You Will" challenge for Earth Hour. Other celebrities who made challenges on behalf of the environment include former President of Botswana, Mr. Festus Mogae who made an amazing four-year commitment to plant one million indigenous trees as part of his "I Will If You Will" challenge. His challenge will start with 100,000 in a severely degraded area in southern Botswana called Goodhope. Also, WWF Russia launches Earth Hour 2013 with a petition to ban industrial logging in protected forests, following the massive success of an earlier petition that led to better protection of the country's seas.

Earth Hour encourages individuals like you, schools, Scout groups, organizations, businesses, and whole cities to sign up and participate. Imagine if every household in Kansas and Missouri (let alone in the U.S.) would take the pledge and turn off their lights for one hour dedicated to the future of the Earth!

You can make this Saturday night an important and fun event for the whole family. Eat dinner by candlelight, then keep those candles lit and tell stories to each other about your fond memories. Who knows, this may turn out to be a weekly event…every Saturday night, turn out the lights; could be the best thing that has happened in a long time!
One person committed to reducing energy consumption can make a difference, but millions working together can change the world. Don't forget, set the alarm for 8:30 p.m.; going BLACK will be for GREEN!

Lynn Youngblood is a Kansas City-based naturalist who writes for Gatehouse Media.