This year, millions of people worldwide celebrated Earth Hour on Saturday, March 19, 2016 from 8:30-9:30 p.m., by turning out lights and unplugging appliances. For more information, visit the Earth Hour website.
What is Earth Hour?
Earth Hour is an annual global event whereby people everywhere are invited to 'switch off' as a symbolic demonstration of commitment for action against climate change. Earth Hour began in 2007 in Australia and over the past few years has spread across the globe. In recent years, millions of people in more than 150 countries and over 7000 cities and towns switched off their lights for an hour. Earth Hour is scheduled to closely coincide with the equinox to ensure most cities are in darkness as it rolled out around the Earth.
Celebrate Earth Hour by planning a safe event!
Safety is paramount when planning an Earth Hour event. Check your fire alarms to be sure they work before using candles. Better yet, use flashlights or battery operated candles.
Here are some Earth Day celebration ideas:
- Host a neighbourhood gathering and encourage everyone to bring cold food items- Great way to get to know your neighbours too!
- Sit outside in a comfy chair with a warm blanket and enjoy the stars and outdoors
- Enjoy a family walk through the neighbourhood
- Host a board game evening using glow sticks
- Cuddle up in a warm quilt to keep warm and read a book
- Unplug any appliances that can be unplugged for an hour
- Encourage your neighbours to turn their lights off too
- Turn the thermostat down 2 degrees
- If the snow is gone, do a garbage cleanup on a nearby street
- Practice yoga in the dark
- Have an unplugged jam session
There is an entire organization dedicated to celebrating Earth Hour. They have some great resources and ideas, including:
Go Beyond the Hour!
As more and more people celebrate Earth Hour, many of them are also going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action on climate change. Earth Hour is a movement that is building towards a truly global community committed to creating a more sustainable planet.
How can I go Beyond the Hour?
It's easy to go beyond the hour! Try one of these suggestions as a starting point:
- Calculate your carbon footprint and take steps to reduce it
- Reduce your home heating and electricity use
- Walk, bike, carpool, or take public transit when possible. Try for one trip per week to start!
- Make wise food choices: choose local products and those low on the food chain
- Educate yourself about waste diversion and recycling in your area
- Unplug your electronic chargers when you're not using them
- Replace your light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs. Use the saveONenergy coupons to save you money on their purchase
- Grow your own vegetables
- Buy sustainable and local products whenever possible
- Volunteer to work on a community project
What is the Town of Huntsville doing?
Earth Hour: Turning off non-essential lighting at facilities
Beyond Earth Hour: The Unity Plan: Huntsville's Guide to a Sustainable Future outlines several actions on the issue of climate change. Visit our Sustainability page to find out more about what we're working on now.