Started in 2007 in Sydney, Earth Hour is now a worldwide movement that unites people on a broad range of environmental issues. On Saturday 19 March at 8.30-9.30pm your local time, you are asked to turn off your lights. We think it’s a great way to switch off, disconnect and slow yourself down for an hour this weekend!
By asking people around the world to switch off their lights for just one hour, they aim to encourage an interconnected global community to share the opportunities and challenges of creating a sustainable world.
How do I join in?
Participating in Earth Hour is joyously simple. Take the pledge on the website (or not); then at the appointed hour – SWITCH OUT YOUR LIGHTS.
For the next 60 minutes, you can enjoy the novelty of not having good light to do things by. Spare a thought for your grandparents, who knew a time when light was not available at the convenient flick of a switch!
What to do with no electric light
We’ve been participating in Earth Hour on and off for quite a few years now. When it rolls around, I switch out our lights and go outside into the street. The amount of light pollution always amazes me!
We like to plan a small activity to keep us occupied during our self-imposed blackout. We light candles and eat some dessert, then try to read a book or a magazine for a little while. Sometimes we just talk!
You could play a board or card game, write something or make something – get creative!
Tip for young players: unless you have a lot of candles, reading by candlelight is not recommended. Your eyes, used to artificial light, will only be strained!
How does turning off my lights help?
Sitting there in the near-dark, you may be asking yourself how your small contribution can help our global energy consumption.
Well, apart from the fact you’re not consuming as much energy for an hour, consider the cumulative effect of a lot of people doing it. Think about thousands of households and businesses turning out their lights that would otherwise have been on all evening, or even all night. The concept is a powerful one.
The other thing about Earth Hour is it makes you stop and think. As long as you’ve put your phone or tablet away, you may find that the lack of distraction makes your thoughts focus on the issue at hand – our insatiable need for energy, and the problem of fueling it in a sustainable manner.
One hour a year to think about energy consumption is not much to commit to, we think.
Got any good Earth Hour activity ideas? Share with us in the comments!