Today’s post is a guest blog by Karen Higgins, National Sustainability Manager for Grant Thornton. Karen and I have been busy putting a global engagement campaign for Earth Hour and how we can all take a moment to turn the light on sustainability issues during a global lights off.
Calling all parents or carers of children!
How many times do you ask children to switch off the lights as they leave the room or turn off the water as they are brushing their teeth? With the different recycling bins we have at home now my children are getting used to putting the right waste in the right bin (will let my youngest off as she is only 3!) but how can we as parents instil the concept that we all have a responsibility for the protection of our planet and that everything we do has an impact! The most obvious way of course is leading by example and hoping that they will follow suit as it is the “normal” thing to do! However, we often need to make the effort to go that bit further and spend some time teaching our children in a fun and engaging way that we must all do what we can to protect the world in which we live.
Earth Hour, organised by the WWF, is a perfect excuse to reflect on our own activities and spend some quality time with our children, families and friends to really think about the impact we are making and how we can make a difference. This global annual event encourages people all over the world to switch off their lights for one hour to show they care about our planet. It’s about people from across the globe coming together to create a symbolic and spectacular lights out display and asking for change. Last year 162 countries took part and this year I will be one of hundreds of millions of people getting involved and my house will join key landmarks such as Sydney Opera House, Table Mountain, The Eiffel Tower and Buckingham Palace!
As well as thinking about how to spend the actual hour (I am in the process of sourcing bees wax candles to allow us to have dinner by candlelight!), it gives us a nudge to think about how we can take more responsibility. We have friends staying for the weekend who have two children and as well as being complete chaos as they range from 8 years old to 3, it gives us the opportunity to plan a really fun filled weekend for the kids allowing for conversations about some key environmental issues. Some of the things we will be doing:
- making some candle lanterns with old jam jars and beeswax candles
- going for a walk in the forest
- painting their favourite animals on their faces
- turn the lights off for an additional hour, give the kids some glow sticks and have a disco
- children’s tea, bath time and stories by candlelight
- getting them to pledge to do something for a month such as putting the recycling in the correct bin or putting the food waste in the caddy .
This last one might require a sticker chart and the incentive of a reward but if it means they get into the habit of doing something and understand why then it is worth it!
So, what will you be doing over Earth Hour and how will you involve your children and families? We would love to hear your plans so please tweet @6_Heads #EarthHourUK
For the grown ups in our community come celebrate Earth Hour with the 6Heads gang as we host a candlelit dinner at Fairly Square this Saturday at 7.30 pm. Dinner conversation will be kicked off by Emma Keller from WWF and Onome, owner of Fairly Square (London’s first Fairtrade bar). We are also being joined by Clive Selwyn (Dr Clive’s Circus) who will be playing us a song or two as we turn the lights off.
In January we heard from our community that you would love us to start doing events you can bring your kids too. We’ve been busy and have some exciting things coming up. We’re still confirming details of our first session but here is a video to give you an idea of the Philosophy for Kids session we will be running with Learn 2 Think in May. Please contact Louisa at Louisa.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Happy nearly Earth Hour,