Blog | 5 activities to celebrate Earth Hour
On March 19, millions of people around the world will switch their lights off to mark Earth Hour. Here are five ways your Scouts can join in.
1. Have an indoor picnic
Ask your Scouts to all bring some food which can be shared. Discuss the airmiles attached to certain items - for example, did they know that their bananas have been flown in from as far away as India, China, Uganda or the Philippines? Eat by candlelight to keep electricity consumption as low as possible.
2. Go out in the dark
If you can't safely turn the lights off in your meeting place during Earth Hour, take the meeting outside into the dark. Make sure everyone has a torch and appropriate clothing, and go on a short night hike around your area, taking the time to use other senses, like touch, smell and hearing, to keep your bearings. Go somewhere away from artificial light and turn off your torches.
3. Calculate your carbon footprint
Take this fascinating online quiz to see how the Scouts' individual carbon footprints measure up against UK and world averages. You could adapt it to make it apply to the whole Group by thinking about specific actions - like walking to Scouts instead of being driven - which could reduce fossil fuel consumption.
4. Make Earth Cookies
If you've not got the time to dedicate a whole night to Earth Hour, you could run a quick earth-themed activity, like making these Earth cookies. You can pre-make the dough and keep it in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
5. Make a pledge tree
Get your Scouts to draw out a tree design on paper, create it from old plastic bottles, or use a real tree outside your meeting place. Cut leaves from scrap paper and ask each member of your Section to write out a pledge to reduce their impact on the Earth. Tie the leaves to the tree and use the ideas to spark discussion.
Some of these activities suit criteria for achieving the World Challenge badge, and there are more brilliant ideas in the Earth Hour resource pack from WWF. How do you plan to mark the occasion? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter.