There is no better opportunity to recognize Earth Hour this weekend (and Earth Day on April 22nd) than to spend some quality family time with your family 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. Not only were we one of the first in the industry to go paperless, but we also 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 the 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. If everybody takes on their responsibility, it will be much easier for your home to go more green!

2. Educate

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? There is a plethora of documentaries and informational videos on the internet that are perfect to spend the day watching.

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. Many cities, such as Toronto, have a bunch of little libraries that you can also drop your books off at, or take one home!

4. Listen to songs/podcasts

Check out the Earth Hour channel on Spotify. They’ve curated a playlist of nature-inspired songs. These are perfect to listen to in the background while you work around the house or do your part in going greener.

5. Play board games

Play family board games by candlelight. We love the classics, like Monopoly and Clue! Board games are an excellent way of bonding with family and friends.

6. Evening picnic

Weather permitting, 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!

7. Stargaze 

It’s the perfect evening to grab a telescope or some binoculars and head out to see the stars (if weather permits). You can also bring some zero-waste snacks and hot chocolate to make a wonderful night out of it.

8. Take a tour

Explore your neighbourhood in a whole new light and take a flashlight adventure at night. If you have it on hand, wear some reflective clothing to avoid any dangers!

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, 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)! This is an excellent way to bond with family and friends.

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. This is the perfect way to create new toys without purchasing new ones and creating waste

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 80s or neon outfits and give out glow sticks and stickers. Put on some fun 80s music and dance the evening away. Not only is this a fun way to spend time with your friends and family, but the lack of lights is perfect for helping the planet!

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 8:30 pm is too late for your child, consider hosting your own “Earth Hour” with the kids at 6:30 pm-7:30 pm. 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 the 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 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 donating to fight climate change effects. 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, a non-profit based in Vaughn, has launched a new Eco-Activity Initiative! Visit their website for various activities to do with your family at home.

2. Pocoyo – Earth Hour

For those of you with younger children, 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.

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