You’ve probably heard about Earth Hour. What started in Australia in March 2007 has developed into a worldwide event that draws attention to global warming and gets people talking about the environment. But it’s more than just turning off your lights for an hour. Brooke from Eco Parents gives us 5 reasons why you might consider participating.
Keen to join in some fun with us over the weekend? Share a photo on social media of your baby sporting their cloth nappies, using the hashtag #beyondthehour. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @australiannappyassociation
1. Make it real.
Unfortunately rising global temperatures are real and it threatens the balance for many ecosystems. Including those that animals, us humans and our kids like to enjoy. Turning off your lights for an hour is symbolic support for the cause. While awareness is great, it’s a change of behaviour that will really make a positive difference.
2. Disconnect to reconnect.
There is no doubt that social media and easy access to the Internet helps us connect to others far and wide. However, there is no denying it can impact on how well we connect with those under our roof. Take things a step further this Earth Hour and turn it all off. What will you do instead? It might be a chance to take time out in your own thoughts or hang out with loved ones. Do something that is meaningful to you. Have a bath with a nice beverage? Snuggle up outside and watch the stars? Enjoy a meal by candlelight? Read? Having a scheduled time helps to make it actually happen, but feel free to adjust the timing to suit activities with little ones under your roof.
3. Talk about it.
Many organisations and businesses are using Earth Hour as a prompt to draw attention to important issues. Is your workplace getting involved? Participate or organise an activity to raise money and awareness for an environmental cause that matters to you. Some communities are holding events to draw in many people, but you could just as easily organise a dinner with family or friends. Whatever you do, be sure to raise a discussion about the purpose of Earth Hour. Prompt people to write an eco commitment on a piece of paper (recycled of course) to add an element of accountability. Review them next year. If you plan on involving children talk about what you are doing and why. You might decide as a family or group on what you can do to make change happen. It could be a one off commitment like participating in Clean up Australia day or an ongoing behavioural change such as utilising more reusable products (here is a list of common household items you can swap out).
Acknowledge the changes you have already made and think about why you’ve made them successful – success factors (e.g. saves money, easy to do, creative, fun).
5. Identify further chances to make change.
Making a positive difference makes us feel good. Identify what other changes each member of the household might like to commit to. Refer back to the list of success factors to determine if you think it will be manageable. Consider donating money to worthy causes and choose them as a group.
To find out more about Earth Hour head to the official website here. You can register to attend an event, organise your own, or buy a cookbook to support our farmers as proceeds from the cookbook contribute to work with schools, small business and community groups.
Brooke Summerville is the founder of Eco Parents Australia. Share in her family’s experience of trying to raise kids sustainably. Her website, blog and Facebook page is where she shares her challenges, triumphs, tips, useful links, articles, eco product reviews and giveaways. Brooke says ” I have always been eco-minded, but having children amplified the importance of living gently”. Get involved with Eco Parents Australia and subscribe to Brooke’s newsletter.