“The need to unite and protect our planet has never been greater,” reads the front page of Earth Hour’s website. Earth Hour – founded by the World Wildlife Foundation and partners in 2007 – started as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney. Evolving from something as simple as turning off the lights, Earth Hour has grown to involve millions of participants and include local events across the planet. Today, being one of the world’s largest grassroots movements, it has become a global catalyst for positive environmental change.
This year, amid the COVID19 pandemic and social distancing efforts, Earth Hour will be going back to its roots and participants will be taking partaking from their homes. But this doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do!
The McGill Office of Sustainability has compiled 12 fun and impactful activities that you, and the members of your household, can try out to celebrate Earth Hour right from your home:
- Turn off the lights
The easiest was to participate in Earth Hour is a throwback to the origins of the movement. On Saturday, March 28, at 8:30 pm local time, join the rest of the world in shutting off all non-essential lights for one hour.
- Fend off vampires
Unplug all electronics and appliances, with the exception of the fridge, during Earth Hour. These devices still consume energy when plugged-in, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as ‘vampire power’, even when they aren’t in use.
- Eat the rainbow
Have a candlelit dinner that incorporates at least one vegetable from each colour group – red, orange/yellow, green, blue/purple, and white/brown – to get a wide range of nutrients.
- Do a zero-waste challenge
Whether it be for the entire day, the whole hour, or just for a meal, challenge yourself and those in your household to go zero-waste.
- Test out your green thumb
Profit from this time to plant some seedlings. Bonus if you also use discarded odds and ends around the house to do this; egg cartons and yogurt containers work great. Don’t have any seeds? An easy way to multiply your house plants is to make clippings. Most clipping can be put in water until they start growing roots, after which they can be placed in soil.
- Shake it up
- Spread the love
Social sustainability is all about people – how we work together as a community to support one another and meet our collective needs. Take some time on March 28 to connect with someone you care for.
- Host a virtual campout
Looking for a fun way to connect? Spend some quality with friends and family by the faux-campfire swapping ghost stories via your favourite video conferencing app.
- Break a sweat
From a peaceful yoga session to a silent disco, get moving. Exercise is great for stress relief and can help you get a night of restful sleep.
- Practice mindfulness
Take the hour to be present and fully engaged. Put the phone down, shift your focus away from the past or future, and focus on the present.
- Make a resolution to reduce your carbon footprint
Choose one goal to reduce your carbon footprint as an ongoing challenge for your household. From meatless Mondays to eliminating plastic water bottles, pick something that is achievable and stick to it!
- Learn more
Whether it be through reading a book, watching a documentary, or tuning into one of Earth Hour’s livestreams, take some time to learn more about our planet and what we can do for it and each other.