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Earth Hour

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The first ever Earth Hour event was held in Sydney, Australia in 2007. With millions of people now taking part, it has spread to become the world’s largest grassroots movement regarding the environment. Earth Hour is held on the same day around the world. It takes place in late March because this is approximately when the Spring and Autumn equinoxes occur in the northern and southern hemispheres, allowing for near coincidental sunset times. This creates the strongest visual impact with the event. In 2017, 187 countries and territories participated with almost 2.5 million actions being taken in recognition of Earth Hour.

While there is no measurement of carbon emissions reduced during this hour, this symbolic action is to encourage people to think about their ecological footprints throughout the year and the changes they can make beyond Earth Hour. It has even contributed to larger changes including the creation of WWF Uganda’s Earth Hour Forest, Argentina used its 2013 Earth Hour campaign to help pass a Senate bill for a 3.4 million hectares Marine Protected Area in the country, and in Paraguay, WWF used the Earth Hour platform to build public support to gain an extension of the logging moratorium, helping to reduce deforestation (Earth Hour FAQs).

If you are interested in participating in Earth Hour but aren’t sure where to start, there are a wide variety of resources available to help. The WWF has put together toolkits with different ones for schools, individuals, and even scout groups. Green Schools NS also has our own Earth Hour Support Package to help you create an action plan and decide how you want to celebrate. While Earth Hour takes place on a Saturday, try running a Lights Off Campaign any day of the week. If you’re at a school, take an hour in your classroom to not use any electricity and enjoy time reading or getting outside for gym class. Check out some of the ideas below for what you can do when your lights are turned off this Saturday, March 24th from 8:30-9: 30 pm. You can challenge yourself to go beyond that one hour and make time without electricity a habit in your home or classroom!

Earth Hour Activities:

  1. Prepare for the event by creating paper or tin can lanterns
  2. Have a family and friends game night playing all your favourites using flashlights or candles
  3. Build a blanket fort and cuddle up inside to read a book using a flashlight
  4. Play flashlight tag or hide and seek in the dark
  5. Use glow sticks in recycled bottles to play outdoor, nighttime bowling.
  6. Put on a shadow puppet play
  7. Tell scary stories in the dark
  8. Get outside and star gaze, you can even use a telescope
  9. Take a walk and enjoy the sounds of your neighbourhood

Reflect on all of the ways you use energy in your life and what you can do to reduce your daily energy consumption

Visit the Green Schools Pinterest page for even more great activities and ideas!  

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