10 fun things to do during Earth Hour
It’s wonderful when you can do your bit to help save the planet simply by having a romantic night at home. After all, what could be nicer than turning off the lights and the telly, lighting some candles and spending an hour focussed on your loved one (or ones) without any distractions. Not only do you get the added benefit of joining millions of other people around the world in making a symbolic gesture about the effects of climate change – you could save some money on your power bill! In fact, you may find you have so much fun that it becomes a regular event at your house!
Earth Hour is held every year on a Saturday at the end of March. People, businesses and governments around the world switch off their lights for one hour to show their concern about the effects of global warming on the planet. It started in 2004 when, confronted with scientific findings, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Australia started to search for a way to engage Australians on the issue of climate change. The result was the idea to encourage Sydneysiders to turn off their lights for one hour at the same time.
It took three years to get Earth Hour off the ground, but at 7.30pm on March 31, 2007, 2.2 million Sydney residents embraced the concept so wholeheartedly that it inspired San Francisco to run its own “Lights out” program the following October.
Just one year later, Earth Hour became a global phenomenon, with more than 35 countries and an estimated 50-100 million people turning off their lights for one hour.
The symbolic hour has grown into the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, with 172 countries taking part each year.
Of course, being Aussies, we turn everything into a party, and these days one in three people around the country celebrate Earth Hour with street parties, barbecues, candlelit dinners, games nights and sing-a-longs. In fact, Earth Hour is a perfect catalyst to reclaim a lifestyle that has been all but wiped out by TV, electronic games, the internet, social media and mobile phones.
So why not join those one in three Aussies who’ll take a stand for this planet at 8.30pm on March 19 and reclaim the simple and relaxed life of times gone by?!
Here are our suggestions for fun ways to celebrate Earth Hour this year.
1. Hold an indoor picnic
Candles create a wonderful atmosphere for any meal. Spread out a blanket on the living room floor, light some candles and serve lots of yummy picnic treats.
2. Take a walk in the dark
Is a famous landmark in your town or city going dark in honour of Earth Hour? Take an evening stroll around town to see what buildings switched off the lights to show support for the planet. Or see how many of your neighbours have turned out the lights. You may bump into other people out for the same reason and make some new friends!
3. Check out the stars
Study up on the cosmos and then venture out to a dark, open spot near your home. See what constellations you can pick out in the night sky, and maybe even glimpse a shooting star! If there’s an observatory near your house, see if they’ll be open to the public on March 19.
4. Have a games night
Invite friends around for a pub quiz and board games by candlelight. Earth Hour is all about people coming together to celebrate our world. The Earth Hour team has created a Pub Quiz to download to make the most of the night.
5. Read stories aloud
This isn’t just something you can do with the kids. Pick a book everyone will enjoy and take turns reading a page.
6. Play How to Host a Murder
What better atmosphere could there be for this fabulously fun game than a dark, candlelit house? Provide a fabulous meal, ask everyone to dress up and you could well find you have an annual event on your hands.
7. Go for a night-time bike ride
The great thing about Earth Hour being in March is that it’s still warm enough to venture outdoors for a ride at night. Why not explore one of the bike tracks you’ve driven past, or check out the local park.
8. Look at old picture albums
Pull out the dusty albums from years past and flick through the old pictures of yourself or your family by candlelight.
9. Reconnect with friends and family
Call or visit someone you’ve been meaning to catch-up with and enjoy an hour of quality time having a good chat.
10. Host a yoga party
If you’ve never done yoga before, look up a few simple poses and get ready to laugh as everyone gets tied up in knots.