by Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder
What's special about the last Saturday in March?
It's Earth Hour!
On Earth Hour, hundreds of millions of people around the world will come together to make a bold statement about their concern for climate change by doing something quite simple -- turning off their lights between 8:30 to 9:30 local time.
For just one hour, kids and families and organizations worldwide will come together to turn out their lights and show it's possible to have an impact on climate change. While it is just an hour with non-essential lights and appliances shut off, Earth Hour represents turning the lights out on dirty air, dangerous dependency on foreign oil and costly climate change impacts, and make the switch to cleaner air, a strong economic future and a more secure nation.
How Can Your Family Take Part?
Snag the kids' attention and help them participate in this voluntary power down with these ideas:
- Explain pollution and climate change in a way that makes sense to your children. "Sometimes if you eat too much candy you feel sick. When we drive cars too much or use too much electricity, it can make our planet sick." "Climate is how hot and cold, or wet or dry a place is. When that changes, sometimes the plants and animals that live there can't adapt and they die or move away."
- Talk about energy conservation. Make a list of all the ways you are going to reduce your energy consumption:
- Unplug unused appliances
- Change to compact fluorescent bulbs or led bulbs
- Properly inflate tires
- Adjust your thermostat
- Turn off TV or computers when not being used
- Share your plans with your family and friends
- Take a trip to the library and look through animal books. Some animals that are affected by climate changes include Bengal Tiger, Monarch Butterfly, Polar Bear, Giant Panda and Orangutan.
- Learn about clean energy sources like solar and wind power.
- Watch The Earth Hour Video with the whole family.
- Plan a get-dark party for Earth Hour. How about slumber party, lights out at 8:30, complete with stories, giggles and hugs.
- Check out Earth Hour Kids for related activities and games.
Even though you're just one family, you can make a huge difference especially as you continue to reduce daily energy consumption, rather than simply "sit around in the dark" for an hour. Keep your lists handy and see how you're measuring up during Earth Week.
Julie Snyder is a mom of six, interested in kids, pregnancy, birth, people and lives in the outlying Seattle area. Melissa Jaramillo is mom to many. She's passionate about building, encouraging, and strengthening families on this adventure known as parenthood!
Copyright © Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.