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Does Earth Hour Make A Difference? 10 Ways To Make It Count

Tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m., the whole planet is once again invited to celebrate Earth Hour, an hour of darkness honor the earth. There should be the equivalent of a voluntarygn blackout across the earth, if everyone plays along. And there are some big players: Huffington Post has a slide show of photos from last year’s earth hour. Even the Eiffel Tower went dark for an hour.

I intend to participate with my kids, even if participation just means turning the lights out for bedtime a few minutes early. I wonder how much it can help, though. One hour of darkness is a tiny drop in a very big bucket of energy consumption. What message am I sending my kids if I show them that this is the kind of action we take to save the planet?

To really begin to affect climate change, we’re going to need more than an hour of darkness. We’re going to need some very bright ideas. We’re raising the kids who will have those ideas someday, so behooves us to get the conversation going now. As Meredith said in her post, curl up with a candle and brainstorm ideas on how your family can help combat climate change.

Here are 10 ideas to get your brainstorm started:

  1. Bike, walk or carpool to school.
  2. Make a game of turning the lights out. Let the kids win a prize for each month the utility bills are lower than they were the same month last year.
  3. Grow some of your own food in a garden.
  4. Have an energy audit of your home.
  5. Play board games and family activities that don’t require electricity.
  6. Pick up trash from your neighborhood parks.
  7. Use reusable containers for school lunches.
  8. Keep the thermostat low and bundle up in the winter.
  9. Shop at thrift stores for second-hand gems before buying new things.
  10. Share what you know with friends at school and in your community.

Photo: Jairen Lau

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