Earth Hour began as a small World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) event in Sydney, Australia. In 2007, 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. The movement was quickly picked up, and the following year was an even bigger event. Be sure to follow #momentofdarkness on Twitter to hear from celebrities and get to learn more from the WWF about Earth Hour.
In that short time over 50 million people had become aware of Earth Hour, and turned out their lights to save energy and spread awareness in 2008. Even some of the world's most recognizable buildings were dark for Earth Hour, including Rome's Coliseum, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square, New York. In 2012, Earth Hour cemented itself as the largest voluntary action for the environment, with more than 6950 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories taking part.
You can help make a difference by reducing your energy consumption for Earth Hour on March 29th, between 8:30 and 9:30 pm, while taking note of how much you consume, and how you can make changes every day to help reduce climate change for future generations. Earth Hour and Earth Day are perfect times to open the dialogue with your children. What can they do to help the Earth? In addition to unplugging chargers, clocks, computers, lights and turning down the thermostat, find other ways that you can help to be eco-aware in your home.
momstown has found lots of great ideas to help with this conversation and inspire our kids to do their part for the environment.
There is no better time than Earth Hour (and Earth Day on April 22nd) to spend some quality family time creating crafts that help encourage the conversation about our earth, recycling and endangered animals. We have crafts that reuse items from around the house, create the earth out of pizza cardboard and even create our planet with a coffee filter!
Young kids can work on the letter "O" with this amazingly simple "On/Off" Switch craft, teaching not only about early reading, but small ways in which they can help be eco-aware in their own home. Planet Forward also has a great lightbulb craft for kids to get "turned on" to the environment and saving energy.
Since our kids will likely be asleep, how about turning off your lights twice? If 8:30pm is too late for your child…consider hosting your own "Earth Hour" with the kids at 6:30pm-7:30pm. Let them learn about giving up some electricity to give back to our environment! Create a "kid-friendly" hour like Caroline Fernandez of the Yummy Mummy Club will do. She uses this opportunity to talk about the environment and even extends the hour into a full weekend including movie time to watch "eco-conscious" movies for kids.
Older kids might be ready to make a committment to help out by reducing their own footprint. Earthhour.org has some great online games, virtual lightswitches and kid-friendly information about . Our friend, 10 year old Eco-Blogger Hannah Alper, has also created a great pledge for kids- download it on her blog. She recommends spending lots of family time talking about what you can do to help the earth, in your house.
Whether it's gazing at the stars, having games night, reading about the Earth, enjoying Earth-inspired treats, crafts by candlelight or even a night alone in the dark with your spouse, use this chance to talk to your kids about the environment and help ensure that the next generation will continue to work towards making our earth stronger.