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How your family can get involved in Earth Hour

Thanks so much to Stacey McCarthy, Communications Specialist at WWF-Canada, for this guest blog post! We are hoping to make it to the Grand Parade event on Saturday, but if not, it'll be lights out for us! Stacey has included some great ideas for celebrating Earth Hour at home with the kids – thanks Stacey!

Earth Hour logoEarth Hour is just a few days away, and Canadians in 273 cities (and counting) have pledged their support with the one billion people in 6000 cities across the world to fight climate change.

For those who aren’t familiar with Earth Hour, Earth Hour is an international lights out event created by WWF in 2007 to demonstrate support for action on climate change. Turning off our lights during Earth Hour is a simple, symbolic action that will show that Canadians want to be part of the climate solution. It also demonstrates how all of our individual efforts add up to make a big difference.

In Halifax, the weather is projected to be clear and cool on Saturday night – perfect for star gazing and listening to some award winning East Coast musicians in Grand Parade in front of City Hall. Dave Gunning will be joined by the Sons of Maxwell for a free concert in the dark, Astronomy NS will be there with their telescopes, and Tim Hortons will be giving out free hot beverages, so please remember to bring your reusable mug! Complete event information can be found online here.   

If you can't make it down to our event in Grand Parade, then here are some suggestions for what you can do with your friends and family before and during Earth Hour:

  • Sign-up online at www.EarthHourCanada.org
  • Spend the hour talking about how much electricity your family uses and brainstorm about ways you can reduce it in your own home
  • Talk to your kids about climate change and how it is affecting the habitat of species like polar bears
  • Host a candle-lit dinner party, or if 8:30pm is too late for dinner, how about a candle-lit dessert party
  • Tell ghost stories in front of the fireplace
  • Play Pictionary with glow in the dark markers
  • Have your own acoustic jam session
  • Get out your sleeping bags and camp out on the living room floor
  • Play flash light tag
  • Meet your neighbours for a street or block party
  • Put a glow stick on your dog's collar or leash and go for a walk
  • Or just get outside and look at the stars

After Earth Hour is over, why not look for ways to keep the momentum going by making every hour Earth Hour. WWF-Canada has a great program called the Living Planet Community online at wwf.ca where people can get tips for energy saving efforts and actually calculate the greenhouse gas savings their environmentally friendly actions are already having.
 
These include:

  • Switching to compact florescent lights
  • Washing in cold water
  • Turning down the heat or A/c by two degrees
  • Taking transit or walking
  • Using power bars for outlets with many plugs so you can turn them off when not in use
  • Switching to energy efficient appliances

 And finally, as part of our Earth Hour campaign, supporters across Canada are also encouraged to take out their cell phones or BlackBerrys and text "EARTH "to 45678 to donate $5 to WWF and support the fight against climate change. Donors will see a one-time charge of $5 to their wireless bill and Telus subscribers will have their text message charge waived for their donation.

March 27th 8:30pm – 9:30pm. Lights out. Don’t forget!

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