Earth Hour is a global initiative by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to shine a light on climate change and how much energy we use. How do you participate? Simply by turning off the lights!
In 2016, 1.2 million people participated from 178 countries, including some 400 landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building that went dark for the occasion. This year Earth Hour marks its 10th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate and show your support than with your own Earth Hour party.
11 tips for a party in the dark
- Sign up for the global Facebook event, and add your own event to https://www.earthhour.org/map, where you can see Earth Hour happenings worldwide.
- Add some light – and some atmosphere – with candles. (You can make your candlelight even better for the planet by using beeswax or soy candles, which are smoke free and non-toxic.)
- Make your party glow in the dark. Decorate with glow-in-the-dark balloons and streamers, hand out glow-sticks or make your evening a crafty one with homemade glow-in-the-dark paint.
- Host a dinner party. Earth Hour is the perfect opportunity to treat friends and family to a candle-lit meal. Or, move the party outside with a picnic or barbeque under the stars.
- Make it a movie night. Match your viewing to the dark by screening your favorite horror flick, or give climate change the spotlight with an environment-themed film.
- While there isn’t much for your eyes to see, use your other senses. Arrange a wine, beer, cheese or chocolate tasting, or get hands-on with a cooking project or arts and crafts.
- Make it a game. Pull out your cards or board games, organize a trivia contest, or even arrange a murder mystery role play. If you’re up for a challenge, try charades or hide-and-seek in the dark.
- Get talking. Host your book club, use your gathering as an opportunity to catch up, or start a discussion on climate change and the action you can take every day to be more sustainable.
- Share on social media. Use the hashtags #earthhour, #earthhour2017 and #ChangeClimateChange, or follow @EarthHour for the latest updates. You can even “donate” your Facebook feed with five posts.
- Safety first. Move any furniture or décor that might be hard to see, particularly things with sharp corners. Mark tricky spots with glow-in-the-dark tape. As Earth Hour advises, stick to switching off non-essential lights.
- And, after you’ve hosted your Earth Hour party, don’t forget to take your empty cans and bottles to your nearest TOMRA reverse vending machine to be recycled and reused.
Go beyond the hour
The Earth Hour movement is not about how much energy is saved during the hour itself, but about putting the spotlight on the environment and inspiring people to live more sustainably. See this guide from Earth Hour (page 11) on how to extend your impact.