Beyond Earth Hour

Take the lessons of Earth Hour beyond Saturday night.

Credit: Flickr / avlxyz

An hour of darkness may not seem significant, however—besides the energy saving—Earth Hour offers us a chance to change our consumptive ways

Get out some beeswax candles and get ready for Earth Hour, Saturday, March 27, from 8:30–9:30 p.m. This is a chance for people around the globe to make a difference by turning out their lights for one hour.

Last year more than 4,000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off their lights to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.  

Can this small gesture make a positive difference? Well, when I saw how excited my kids were to participate in Earth Hour last year, the answer was clear: anything we do is better than doing nothing at all! My kids had an assortment of homemade candles and a board game out waiting for us. It was amazing to see how this Earth Hour had touched their souls. All of their worries and fears about the world we will be leaving them seemed to have been lifted off their shoulders that evening.

Earth Hour is proof that people really care about our world. It is a motivator, urging us to continue to make changes now, so that the legacy we leave behind is a sustainable world.

Here are a few suggestions to take the lessons of Earth Hour beyond Saturday night and help you lighten your footprint to ensure that this global legacy becomes a reality:

1. Think outside the recycling box

Getting your recyclables into the blue box each week and remembering to take your reusable grocery bags into the store has become habit for many of us. Now it’s time to take on another challenge. To avoid getting overwhelmed when choosing what lifestyle change to tackle next, pick one thing that irritates you and then do something about it.

I used to experience “wrap rage” (frustration with saran wrap, sandwich baggies, plastic wrap) when I made lunches. Then I invested in Wrap-n-mats, reusable mini mesh bags, and Nalgene containers for sandwiches, muffins and snack foods and am happy to say that my symptoms disappeared!.


2. Take in a few movies

Watch one or all of these movies and you’ll be sure to find yourself motivated to hit the express lane towards a greener lifestyle: Food, Inc., The World According to Monsanto, Fast Food Nation, Sicko, Supersize Me, The Age of Stupid and The Story of Stuff are all excellent choices. You will never look at hamburger meat, chicken, milk, fast food and convenience foods the same way again.


3. Start cooking again.

Apparently cooking has become a lost art. Fewer and fewer people know how to cook and many have stopped cooking completely thanks to the lure of fast food restaurants and the multitude of convenience foods at our warehouse style grocery stores. Home cooked foods are what memories are made of. By the way, one person doesn’t have to do all the cooking!

So plan ahead. Set an alarm on your cell phone to shut down the power at 8:30 p.m. Saturday night. Pick up some eco-friendly beeswax candles along with a few ingredients for that favourite recipe that everyone raves about. I know I’ll be eating cheese fondue by candlelight, followed by a few rounds of Rummikub and a game of Scrabble. How about you?



Joanne Morneau

Joanne Morneau is the owner of Emerald Planet Fundraising, a business dedicated to helping groups and individuals run successful fundraisers with products that promote a sustainable lifestyle. Check out her website for helpful information and resources to inspire you to “turn a deeper shade of green.” WebsiteTwitter | 778-230-4803