Earth Hour Logo2_0.jpgDid you know Earth Hour isn’t about saving energy?

It’s about standing together with people around the world to make a statement to the world that we want a future where climate change is no longer a threat.

Every man, woman and child is encouraged to turn off the lights for just one hour each year to celebrate the event.

Canada has participated in the event for more than 15 years, but in that time the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 32 percent, according to WWF (the World Wildlife Fund) Canada, the organizer of Canada’s Earth Hour. This puts the country way off track on meeting 2020 reduction targets, the organization says.

So what can you and your family do to help? Below, our friends at Earth Hour Canada have shared some ideas on how your family can celebrate the hour and support the Earth Hour cause. We've also shared some of the organization's interesting Earth Hour facts, which you can share with your kids during the hour or anytime.

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Fun Family Earth Hour Ideas:
  • Have a family dinner by candlelight.
  • Take your blankets and pillows (and jackets!) out into the yard for a star-gazing session.
  • Get the neighbourhood kids together for a game of flashlight tag or hide-and-go-seek.
  • Turn your living-room into a darkened theatre and watch an environmentally-themed movie like "The Lorax".
  • Break out your non-electronic board games.
  • Throw a full-on glow-in-the-dark party complete with ’80s outfits and glow sticks.
  • Host a “raw foods” (no cooking involved) pot-luck dinner.
  • Do a family yoga class by candlelight in your living room.

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Don't Stop with Just 60 Minutes:
  • Fund a project on the Earth Hour site.
  • Back a Canadian project .
  • Donate to Earth Day Canada.
  • .WWF is always looking for enthusiastic students to write short blog posts about their experiences participating in WWF campaigns like Earth Hour. E-mail schools@wwfcanada.org for more information.

 

Interesting Earth Hour Facts:
  • If everyone on the planet switched their incandescent light bulbs to LEDs or  CFLs, we would cut the world’s lighting demand for electricity in half — and prevent 16 billion tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere over the next 25 years.
  • On January 1, the government of Canada made it illegal to manufacture 75- and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs (stores can continue to sell bulbs they already have in stock). Since 2009, more than 40 countries have pledged to do the same.
  • Ordinary light bulbs waste 95 percent of electricity emitting heat; only 5 percent of the energy produces light. CFLs, on the other hand, use 75 percent less energy than a traditional bulb and can last ten times as long.
  • In 2013, Earth Hour reached over 1 billion people in over 4,000 cities in over 130 countries around the world.
  • More than 10 million of those people were Canadians, taking part in over 300 cities.