Earth Hour has come around very quickly again and no doubt the children will be reminding you about it all of next week, as for many, it’s a sort of ‘event’ that everyone can, and should, take part in.
Held every year on the last Saturday of March, Earth Hour engages millions of people all over the world, switching off their lights to show support for the planet. Earth Hour was started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and partners, as a symbolic, lights-out event. It is now one of the world’s largest grassroots movements for the environment.
While the climate crisis increases daily, another urgent threat we need all be aware of is the rapid loss of biodiversity and nature. Small activities and gestures such as turning off lights or planting a tree, collectively, can make a big difference.
Earth Hour goes far beyond the symbolic action of switching off the lights. It has become a catalyst for positive environmental impact, driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the people and collective action.
Give Back and Protect Nature
Nature and natural systems are vital for our future, and yet, the rate of global loss of nature during the past 50 years is unprecedented in human history. Nature not only provides us with food, water, clean air, and other services but it is also one of our strongest allies against climate change. Protecting nature is one of the most immediate, powerful, and cost-effective solutions to the climate crisis.
Earth Hour helps to increase awareness and spark global conversations on protecting nature, not only to combat the climate crisis, but more importantly to ensure our own good health, happiness, prosperity and even survival.
Participate in Earth Hour 2022
Make Earth Hour an annual event for yourself and your family. No matter how small your efforts, you can make an impact by supporting and participating in Earth Hour 2022.
Many of the Earth Hour 2022 planned events will take place online but you can plan your own events and upload them to the Earth Hour website (www.earthhour.org).
1. The main event you can take part in will be to also switch your lights off for an hour from 8.30pm to 9.30pm (local time) on Saturday night, March 26. Make sure you have a stock of safe candles to use during this time, to create a cosy atmosphere at home (and make sure smaller children are not afraid in the dark).
2. Join the Easy Treesie Group and see how many trees you can plant in ten minutes! As a follow on from National Tree Week, the last day of which falls on Saturday, March 26, the Easy Treesie Group plan to take part in “tree minutes” and will aim to better their record of planting 53 trees in ten minutes. Check out the Easy Treesie website and get involved:
3. Organise an event in your street or neighbourhood – maybe a prayer hour, a meditation hour; a music session by candlelight hour; bring your community together for the hour (8.30pm – 9.30pm) and be a local champion of a global movement! Get online and add your event to the global event listing so others can learn more from you!
4. At home, plan a games night or a book reading night by candle light and enjoy the simplicity of enjoying each other’s company.
5. Camp Out (indoors) for the night. While it’s still a bit too cold in the Midlands for camping out, clear some space in the living room, set up the tent, turn off the lights and get your torches out to create that sense of camping out – indoors!
6. Organise a poetry or competition hour for the family. Encourage them to compose a poem or song for Earth Hour and be sure to share it on the official Earth Hour social media channels.
7. Learn more about nature loss and climate change by reading up on the current state of our planet. There are ample resources available online and in libraries (and online libraries) to help you with this. Awareness is the first step before action.
Earth Hour At Home – beyond the hour
Caring for the planet needn’t only be for one hour a year every March; you can put some practical steps into place today be conscious to contribute to the aims of Earth Hour every day.
Energy Efficiency at Home: simple changes to your home can make a lifetime of a difference; things like installing sensor lights throughout the house; use timers for air-conditioners / heating; plan the most energy efficient times to use your washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher; and even changing your bulbs to more energy efficient bulbs can make a huge change to the amount of energy consumed in your household. You will also notice the savings you’ll make in the long run as a result.
Making some bigger and more economical changes to your home can also help conserve energy and keep you warm and comfortable. Visit our advertiser, Ecohome in O’Moore Street, Tullamore and discuss the great deals they offer in wood-pellets and wood briquettes. While you might think that burning wood isn’t economical, Ecohome wood fuel products are made from compressed wood waste and by-products and give out much more heat than regular coal or peat briquettes, meaning you use less of them. Give Ecohome a call on 083 876 0045 and order your wood fuel products today.
Less food waste: be conscious of portions and try to limit what you put on your own plate and especially on the plates of children. Educate the younger generation on the importance of only cooking what you need and the importance of freezing leftovers and re-using food (when it is safe to do so). Many children nowadays only understand a ‘throwaway’ culture whereas a few simple lessons on ‘less is more’ would soon put them on the right track.
Save water: hands up who fills a kettle for just one cup of tea? Or who washes their car every week, even in the rain? Sounds crazy but we have all seen people waste water quite recklessly like this. Think … about every drop of water you use and use it wisely. Remember the old song “You’ll never miss the water till the well runs dry”!
Eliminate Plastics / Consume consciously: buying in large supermarkets means everything is pre-weighed and the majority of foods and other goods are wrapped in plastics. However, more and more towns and high streets are making space for refill shops and it’s great to see this practice taking off, albeit slowly.There are many among us who probably remember going into a shop with our own bags and bottles and filling up just the quantity we need or can afford. Well, it’s time to go back to the future people … as refill shops are flourishing. We have one here in Mullingar. Check out where your local refill shop is and pop in for your ounce of this and your pound of that! Your cupboards will thank you for the extra space!