There is no better opportunity to recognize Earth Hour this weekend (and Earth Day on April 22nd) than to spend some quality family time discussing our Earth and ways we can protect it. At isure, we work and live in your community. We believe in doing what we can to help preserve the planet and take steps to reduce our global footprint. We were one of the first in the industry to go paperless and offer electronic policies to our insurers! Ready to learn about the environment, and how to begin making changes that will help our planet’s future? We have put together a list of Earth Hour activities, resources and community suggestions for your family below.
1. Make a plan
Engage your family in a conversation about conservation. Come up with ideas on how to save energy, limit waste, and make a positive impact on the environment at home. Make a chart listing duties or responsibilities each member has in the home. This could include switching off unnecessary lights, using cold water to wash your clothes, separating recyclables, gardening, etc.
You can even watch some spectacular Emmy Award-winning documentaries, like Our Planet, completely free on YouTube! Did we mention it’s narrated by David Attenborough?
3. Share a book
It’s another way to recycle! Offer books that your kids are too old for as a hand-me-down to younger friends. Or start a little free library in your neighbourhood.
4. Listen to songs/podcasts
Check out the Earth Hour channel on Spotify! They’ve curated playlist of nature-inspired songs.
5. Play board games
Play family board games by candlelight. We love classics, like Monopoly and Clue!
6. Evening picnic
Have a night-time picnic! Prepare your food in advance and spread a blanket in the living room. Bonus points for a zero-waste cookout!
It’s the perfect evening to grab a telescope or some binoculars and head out to see the stars (if weather permits).
8. Take a tour
Explore your neighbourhood in a whole new light and take a flashlight adventure at night.
9. Community involvement
Being part of a community with purpose will prompt your kids to start seeking out other opportunities to get involved on their own and inspire more action. Experience an Earth Hour themed sound bath at The Anndore House in Toronto, or attend an Earth Hour painting class in the park!
10. Camp out in your living room
Pitch a tent, change into your coziest jammies and get the sleeping bags, then share zero-waste snacks and tell stories! You can even purchase a portable bonfire and have some s’mores (check out City Bonfires)!
11. Scavenger hunt
Set up a scavenger hunt in and around your house to mark off areas where energy can be saved. Encourage the kids to place flags or stickers in spots where appliances or computers can be unplugged and lights turned off. Be sure to highlight the spots where they can make a difference – this will surely be one of their favourite Earth Hour activities!
12. Hide & seek
Play a fun round of flashlight tag or hide and go seek in the dark. The classics always win!
13. Puppet show
One of our favourite Earth Hour activities is a homemade puppet show! Make shadow puppets on a blank wall or have a crafts day and make puppets out of old socks.
14. Plant a seed
For this Earth Hour activity, you will need seeds, dirt and a jar. Place seeds by a window and water (not too much) every few days. Kids have such pride in a plant they’ve grown from a seed.
15. Glow-in-the-dark party
Tell your guests to wear their favourite 80’s or neon outfits and give out glow sticks and stickers. Put on some fun 80’s music and dance the evening away.
16. Read stories
Grab a flashlight and some blankets and tell stories in the living room or before bed. Fact or fiction, these stories in snuggly surroundings are sure to be fun for the kids.
TIP: Since young kids will likely be asleep, how about turning off your lights twice? If 8:30pm is too late for your child, consider hosting your own “Earth Hour” with the kids at 6:30pm-7:30pm. Same benefits AND the kids are in bed on time, which is a win-win!
Earth Hour activities & eco-friendly habits for kids
Go beyond the hour. Keeping the lights off for an hour is good, but maybe the best way to spend that time is to talk with your family about the things you can all do after Earth Hour is over to help protect our planet. Some suggestions might be:
- Turn off faucet when brushing your teeth: Don’t waste water if you aren’t using it. Turn off the water, hum your ABCs while you brush, then turn the water on to rinse.
- Play outside rather than watch a screen: First, play is fun. Second, you don’t need to use batteries or electricity when you play outside. Saves energy!
- Recycle and compost: Encourage kids to put recyclables in recycling boxes. Re-purpose paper for crafts. Use old jars for the plant-a-seed activity above.
- Turn off lights when not in use: It’s an easy way to teach mindfulness and responsibility. Let the kids be the light police: “Who didn’t turn off the light in the bathroom?”
- Pick up garbage: Teaching kids that it’s everybody’s job to keep both inside and outside the home clean encourages environmental responsibility. So get the garbage bags out, put on some gloves and go to your local playground or beach and pick up the trash.
- Think before you print: Remind kids to only print what they need in order to conserve paper. If they must print for a class project or assignment, be sure to recycle unused pages or use them as scrap paper.
- Donate or volunteer: Support an environmental charity by making a donation to fight the effects of climate change. You can also contact charities and ask to be a volunteer. Teaching by example is the best way for your kids to learn!
Earth Hour activity websites
Looking to inspire environmental activism in your kids? Here are a few kid-friendly ‘green’ websites to educate and entertain them leading up to Earth Hour:
1. Earth Rangers
Earth Rangers has launched a new Eco-Activity Initiative! Visit their website for a variety of activities to do with your family at home.
2. Pocoyo – Earth Hour
For those of you with younger children, earthhour.org offers several activities, videos and resources featuring Pocoyo and his friends to help youngsters take part in this global movement.
3. Globe Trottin’ Kids
For Earth Hour, there is an activity kit compiled by educators to encourage kids to think critically about the many ways our daily choices impact Earth and its ecosystems. Globe Trottin’ Kids shows how your kids can be part of the solution to reverse climate change.
For more information about Earth Hour activities and resources:
Whether it’s gazing at the stars, having a game night, reading about the Earth or crafts by candlelight, use this chance to talk to your kids about the environment. Earth Hour and Earth Day are global initiatives to help ensure that the next generation will continue to work towards making our earth stronger.