March 20, 2023
Save the Date: March 25th 2023, 8:30pm
Communications & Marketing Intern
Did you know that apart from Earth day, which has been celebrated for 52 consecutive years, there is also an ‘Earth hour’ celebration? Once a year, thousands of people around the world turn off their electronics and go dark for one full hour. This year, Earth hour falls on March 25th (Saturday) at 8:30 pm.
‘Earth hour’ is an initiative by WWF Australia, launched in 2007, to raise awareness about climate change. It is an annual opportunity for people to reflect on how our daily activities impact our planet and instead, try out sustainable energy practices. Any action, big or small, at home or at work, personal or professional, can play a significant role in preserving our planet.
To unplug, does not mean that the fun is gone! Consider this electrical detox as an opportunity to enjoy quality time with yourself and/or dear ones, while raising awareness and actively participating in Earth hour.
Here are four activities you could do on the days leading up to Earth hour, and two activities you could do on Earth hour itself!
1. Discover your personal impact on the planet
Before you start considering what activities you can do for Earth-hour, take a moment to reflect on youtself and your day-to-day routine. Could it be that by tweaking a few things in your routine, you could lead a more sustainable lifestyle?
Begin by calculating your ecological footprint. The ‘Global Footprint Network’ has a built-in Footprint calculator that will provide you with a great visualisation of how your daily activities have an impact on our planet. If you are aware of your own impact, It will be simpler to come up with sustainable alternatives you could incorporate into your routine.
2. Learn about waste-free living
There are 5 R’s for zero-waste living. When people think about sustainability, often ‘recycling’ is the first thing that comes to mind. But what about the other 4 R’s?
Look around your house and try to spot what type of disposable packaging you have purchased that could be replaced with reusable options. Instead of purchasing a plastic grocery bag, try having your personal grocery tote bag with you.
Do you remember that one orange t-shirt you wore for the last time two years ago? Why not give it a second life by handing it over to your nearest charity or vintage store, so that someone else can wear it more often. You’ll surely make someone happy!
That knife kitchen set looks really nice, doesn't it? But don’t you already have a set at home? Ah, your current ones don’t cut as good as before anymore. That is because they are worn out! Instead of tossing them away, try repairing them with a knife sharpener. They will be good as new!
A different approach can be to get your hands dirty! Sign up for a class on gardening and/or composting and begin following a circular approach to life.
3. Green transportation
One of the major contributors to the global warming phenomena is vehicle emissions. Of course, at times it is unavoidable as people need to get to and from work or school, run errands, etc. However, there are various options one can try out instead of using their cars.
Have you tried cycling or walking to work/school? It may not apply to everyone, as commuting distances may vary, but if you live within a 0-8 km radius, it will not take you more than half an hour to get to your destination. It is a win-win scenario, you get your daily cardio in and you help preserve the planet by not emitting CO2!
If cycling or walking is not possible, then carpooling might be the next best thing. Whether it be family, friends, or colleagues - carpooling allows you to tick the ‘quality time’ box, while at the same time, reducing vehicle emissions.
4. Get involved
In every city, there are organisations focused on making a positive impact on the planet. Try researching local initiatives in your city that value sustainability practices and volunteer for a day (or more). This could be anything from a beach/park clean up, to raising awareness with activists, to helping hand out leftover food boxes to people in need which would have otherwise been thrown out.
If you live in The Hague, Netherlands, there are various local initiatives focused on making a positive impact on nature and society. Among the most recognized are Conscious Kitchen and Voedselbank.
5. Candlelit activities
Switch the lights off, and turn on the fun! You do not have to be in complete darkness for this one hour unless you want to. Go buy some candles! Not only are they a source of light, but they create a calming and relaxing atmosphere you can take advantage of.
Try a candlelit session of your favourite at-home workout. Whether it’s cardio, dancing, yoga or pilates, candles will provide you with the one thing you need - light, the rest is up to you.
If working out is not your thing, then grab a blanket and get cosy to submerge yourself into a calming evening reading session.
Now, if both working out and reading do not sound appealing, how about a get-together with friends for a candlelit dinner? Each brings a dish, the table is lit with candles all around, and afterwards, you can play a competitive round of board games! All while raising awareness about Earth hour and spending quality time together. You are for sure going to spend more than an hour on this activity!
7. Go sightseeing!
Hundreds of worldwide famous landmarks such as the pyramids of Giza, the Empire State Building in New York, Rio’s Christ the Redeemer Statue, and the Eiffel Tower, among others participate in Earth hour.
During this hour, take a walk around your neighbourhood or city centre to see which important sites have switched off their lights for the planet. If none have, then change to window-spotting and notice which neighbours of yours are participating with you!
An alternative is to go stargazing. The city is turned off, so the sky is the show. Search for a clear area and see which constellations you can identify in the night sky. Perhaps you get lucky and see a shooting star!
Use this celebration as a starting point for your year-long commitment to sustainability. These and hundreds of other activities can be done for weeks, months or years. As time passes by, it becomes more important to learn new ways to protect our planet for future generations to come.
Whatever activity you choose to do, make sure they are impactful, educational, and most importantly, fun! What activities are you planning to do this Earth hour?
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