Kids & Company Blog

The Power of Earth Hour

Started in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 by the World Wide Fund for Nature, Earth Hour has grown into a worldwide event observed in over 190 countries and territories. 

March 23rd is the day we are all encouraged to participate in Earth Hour. At 8:30 PM local time, it’s time to switch off your lights as a symbolic gesture of solidarity and commitment to protecting the planet and raising awareness about environmental issues, particularly climate change. In addition to doing something kind for our planet, it’s a great opportunity to turn off your screens and spend quality time with your family. 

[Note: As always, it’s important to consider your children’s age and comfort level, so if doing things in the dark is not something they would enjoy -- or if they are already asleep by that time (we can hope!) -- consider choosing a different time of day to celebrate. While the idea is to show unity, the most important thing is to teach everyone to be more aware of our planet’s health and welfare -- which means any hour can be Earth Hour.]

Here’s a short list of earth-and-child friendly activities to help make Earth Hour a success. 

  1. Have an indoor picnic:  Set a blanket on the floor, prepare picnic-style foods, like sandwiches and fruits, and play board or card games. 
  2. Nature Walk/Star Gazing: Find a clear spot away from city lights, like a safe park or a friends’ house. Lie down or sit comfortably, and point out the constellations, planets, and (hopefully) a shooting star. (New to astronomy and/or want to learn more: check out this helpful resource from the BBC.)
  3. Play storytelling games: Sit in a circle and take turns coming up with silly stories or play “Once Upon a Time”: Each person says one or two sentences and then has to “pass” to the next person to continue.
  4. Put on a play or better yet, a musical! Gather some clothes (sports equipment, Halloween costumes, or just raid your closets), and anything that could be used as instruments (ie. some pots, pans, wooden spoons, coins in a lidded container, etc.), and start jamming.
  5. Grow some seeds: Get a jump start on your garden and plant some seeds. You’ll need soil, seeds and a container. Spend some time talking about what you’d like to grow (flowers, vegetables, herbs, etc.) and why. (No space for a garden? Grow some flowers and give them away for Mother’s Day.)

One last suggestion: As with all family enterprises, planning ahead will probably help the hour go more quickly -- but chances are you’ll be having so much fun, you’ll wish time would stand still.

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