What is it?
Earth Hour is a global movement, which brings millions together across the world to call for greater action on climate change. Each year, hundreds of millions of people around the world switch off their lights and organise events – at home, in their community or in their towns or cities – to show they care about the future of our planet.
Each year millions of people across the world take part to send a clear message of support for climate action. From the Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower to Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh Castle, cities, towns and communities like yours across the world switched out their lights and came together for an hour, to join a global show of support for action on climate.
Why take part?
Right now we’re up against the biggest environmental threats that our generation, or any generation, has ever faced.
Wildlife we love, like elephants, turtles and polar bears, are at risk from the effects of climate change, pollution & over-consumption.
The damage has been shockingly fast. Over the last 25 – 30 years:
- 80% of freshwater species have declined
- Over 50% of populations of land species have declined
- 40% of our forests have disappeared to agricultural land with 15 million trees lost each year just for soy production
- 1 in 6 of the planet’s species are at risk of extinction from climate change
How we’re helping fix it:
- Working with international governments to accelerate the shift to a low-carbon economy and drastically reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil & gas
- Restoring & protecting important habitats
- Addressing our food systems to ensure we’re farming sustainably, reducing waste and consuming responsibly
- Helping poorer countries cope with their changing climate
- Encouraging everyone to make sustainable lifestyle choices such as the energy in their homes, transport options, sustainable diets and more…
The following lessons (taught as part of Unit 5. Liveable Cities for the CGC1D (Issues in Canadian Geography course), all run for one hour, and address themes related to energy saving initiatives. They can all be taught as stand alone lessons or as part of a sequence.
- Lesson 1 – A Green Powered Canada [Which energy source is best?]
- Lesson 2 – Community Connections [Create your own community initiative!]
- Lesson 3 – Buckle up! [Design a smart mobility poster!]
- Lesson 4 – Do you Really Need it? [What devices do we need, and which devices do we want?]
- Lesson 5 – From You to us… [What is the most sustainable means of travelling to Ottawa?]
- Lesson 6 – Get Growing! [Grow your own school vegetable garden!]
- Lesson 7 – Green Innovations [Create your own energy saving device!]
- Lesson 8 – How big are your Carbon Feet? [Calculate your carbon footprint!]
- Lesson 9 – Phantom Energy [Calculating how much phantom energy your school or home uses!]
- Lesson 10 – Media Mania [Create a social media account raising awareness for Earth Hour!]
- Lesson 11 – Post-it! [Create your own piece of art from recycled materials!]
- Lesson 12 – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle [Research the recycling process for a waste item!]
- Lesson 13 – School Energy Project [Create your ideal sustainable school!]
- Lesson 14 – Story Time [Create a story book for for a younger audience addressing an energy issue!]
- Lesson 15 – The Windy City [Should a windfarm at Nuntucket Sound go ahead?]
- Lesson 16 – The Windy City | Decison Making Exercise [Should a windfarm at Nuntucket Sound go ahead?]
- Lesson 17 – Track your Trash [Track your housegold waste for a week!]
- Lesson 18 – Video Challenge [Create a public service announcement for an earth issue!]
- Lesson 19 – Water Works [How polluted are the water sources in your local area?]
- Lesson 20 – Food Miles [Should a windfarm at Nuntucket Sound go ahead?]
- Lesson 21 – Urban Growth [Why are our cities growing so rapidly?]
- Lesson 22 – Liveable Cities [Design your own sustainable city!]
Free Classroom Ideas…
Below are some ideas that you can implement in your classrooms in the run up to Earth hour. All ideas below emphasis an activity which is related to ‘life without power’, ‘looking after the environment’ and ‘establishing a common humanitarian bond with other people’.
- Create a candlelight mood and share stories or discuss the books you have been reading
- Host a quiz
- Take a power nap
- Read a scary story to the class
- Get the class to bring in photo albums and take it in turns to host a ‘slideshow’
- Go for a walk around the school site
- Do a class exercise routine or guided meditation
- Get students to make animal noises, and guess which animal it is
- Board Games / Card Games
- Team competition, who can build the best den with materials in the classroom
- Shadow Puppet Show
- Allow a student or yourself to perform using an acoustic instrument
- Blindfolded ‘tasting and smelling’ competition
- Write a letter to a family member you haven’t seen for a while
- Make a family tree
- Get everyone to help out to clean and sort out your classroom