Looking for a positive way to interact with your kids that encompasses a Teachable Moment? (Of course you are!)
Every year, Earth Hour is held 20:30-21:30 hours (8:30-9:30 p.m.) in your time zone on the last Saturday of March. This year it will be March 26. This symbolic day is observed to draw the world’s attention to the decline of our environment due to human practices.
Welcome To The Dark Side
At 8:30 p.m., we all shut off the electricity in our homes for one hour and spend a hour in the dark. It’s a wonderful way to get your kids to become conscious of the part they play in the world. It also ups your parenting rating when you come up with really cool ideas.
How you spend that hour is where you get creative. Here are 10 helpful Preparation Suggestions for Earth Hour, plus 10 Unusual Earth Hour Activities, plus another 10 Follow Up Ideas to keep the momentum going.
Give Earth Hour a try. You’ll save on your electric bill, and spend some quality time with family, friends, and sometimes strangers.
Welcome To The Dark Side.
10 Earth Hour Prep Ideas
- Decide on an Earth Hour activity, and who you want to involve. You might consider extending an invitation to another family to join you for Earth Hour.
- Find the fuse box so you will be ready to shut off everything for one hour. Verify your flashlight batteries, candles and matches are all accessible.
- Send this article to your local paper and ask them to print it.
- Plan food so the refrigerator and freezers won’t have to be opened.
- Go to https://www.earthhour.org for more ideas.
- Tune into the Earth Hour 2021 guided meditation, led by Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts, at any time to continue to practice mindfulness and gratitude for nature.
- Use #EarthHour in your social media posts.
- Take Before Pictures of your house, neighborhood, and town to show what they look like on a normal night.
- Have a camera ready to take pictures of the fun during #EarthHour.
- Support any Earth Hour Activities sponsored by your town or schools.
10 (Unusual) Earth Hour Activities
- Hold an Earth Hour Neighborhood Night Crawl. Set up a schedule of stops where snacks/beverages will be served, and games can be played.
- Try lawn bowling. Make the pins from water bottles filled with water and a glow stick inside. You can bowl them down with basketballs.
- Play Old School Games (Simon Says. Red Light; Green Light. Hide and Seek. Capture the Flag. Marco Polo. Hand-Clapping Games. Musical Chairs. Telephone. Duck, Duck, Goose. Freeze Dance. Etc.) in areas that have been cleared of trip-able obstacles.
- Go to a dark area, like a pasture or golf course, and identify constellations in the nighttime sky. (Have a back up plan in case it’s cloudy.)
- Do Yoga by candlelight.
- Roast marshmallows and hotdogs over a campfire. Make a list of songs for a sing-along.
- Hold an acoustic jam session with musically inclined neighbors.
- If you are a city dweller, go for a walk and observe who shuts off their lights. In the past, the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building were one of hundreds of icons that shut off their lights to honor Earth Hour.
- Have your children read to you without telling you the title. Your job is to guess which book they’re reading. (Flashlights, anyone?)
- Host a Dark Arts gathering. Set up easels and paints/chalk/charcoal for everybody. Create works of art which will be revealed when the lights come back on.
10 Follow-Ups for Earth Hour
- Take an online quiz to see what kind of carbon footprint your lifestyle creates. Also try https://www.footprintcalculator.org/home/en
- Look up your electric bill from the day before Earth Hour, and the day after Earth Hour, to see if shutting it all off for an hour makes a difference.
- Calculate the amount of electricity that you saved during Earth Hour.
- Multiply the amount of electricity saved by 12 to envision what holding your own monthly Earth Hour would save over the course of a year.
- Multiply the amount of electricity saved by 52 to envision what shutting off your electricity for an hour each week would save over the course of a year.
- Take After Pictures of your house, neighborhood, and town to show what they look like during Earth Hour.
- Post your Before+After Pictures on Social Media #EarthHour.
- Make a scrapbook of your Earth Hour activities that your kids can share at school, or scouts.
- Use the Earth Hour activities to generate excitement for Earth Day in April.
- Start planning what you want to do for Earth Hour next year.
These lists provide only a smidgen of possibilities. If you have any other Earth Hour activities to share, please do. We’d love to hear about your 2022 Earth Day plans, too, or what your community is planning.
Welcome to the Dark Side!