Education & Awareness
Earth Hour at Your School - 5 March 2009
2009 is a vital year for climate change. Governments are meeting in Copenhagen in December to debate, and hopefully agree on, measures to slow down and reverse climate change. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), along with other environmental organisations, wants to influence the course and outcome of this meeting.
Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity at the start of the 21st century. We're already seeing its impacts - from melting Arctic sea ice to flooding and droughts. The time to act is now. WWF calls on the children of the world to support us in the fight against climate change by joining Earth Hour 2009.
Our aim is to take Earth Hour to one billion people in more than 1 000 cities around the globe and encourage them to switch off their lights on 28 March 2009 from 8.30 to 9.30 pm to show governments that we want action against climate change.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has honoured us by agreeing to be the patron of Earth Hour 2009. City of Cape Town Mayor, Helen Zille, and Johannesburg Mayor, Amos Masondo, have also pledged their support. To demonstrate South Africa's commitment we will switch off the lights illuminating Table Mountain for an hour on 28 March.
We encourage all schools in South Africa to become involved in what could be the single most powerful demonstration of global solidarity on any matter in the history of the planet. We would like to challenge all schools to sign up as many pupils, friends and family members as possible to this important cause. The school that shows the most innovation with the resources they have in involving their communities will win great prizes and WWF goodie bags!
And it's easy, fun and free - your school's participation would entail:
Sign up on www.earthhour.org.za or send an SMS to 34017 (R2 per SMS) and register your and your school's support for action on climate change.
Spread the message to all staff members, pupils, family and friends and encourage them to spread the word too.
Switch off the lights of your school building and homes for one hour on 28 March 2009 at 8.30 pm.
There are two ways to determine how many people sign up through your school.
If your school has a website, you can load a widget:
Go to www.earthhour.org.za
Click on Get involved.
Click on Widget.
There are 2 to choose from - click on one.
Put in a pledge target and pledge type.
And press send.
The website will give you a html coding to use to install the widget on your school's website or blog. The widget then counts how many people signed up from your website/blog. If your school is making use of the widget, please inform Candice Adams at email@example.com of your school's website address and we will follow up on it on 27 March.
If your school does not have a website, but has access to the internet:
Go to www.earthhour.org.za
Click on Sign up
Click on School/Organisation/Company
Follow the instructions, but in the TYPE box click on School.
Entity name: Put in your school's name i.e. Outeniqua Primary School.
Instruct your friends and family to follow the same route - not to sign up as an individual, but as part of your school.
If your school does not have access to the internet:
Pupils, teachers and family members can sign up by SMSing their postal code to 34017 (R2 per SMS).
Otherwise you can supply us with physical lists with every person's e-mail address / cell phone number, name, surname and postal code, and we will capture the data on behalf of your school.
Mail or fax your forms to Candice Adams, Private Bag x 2, Die Boord, Stellenbosch 7613, or fax number (021) 888 2888, to reach us before or on 27 March.
Otherwise just spread this important message for us as far and wide as you can. We appreciate all the help we can get.
Earth Hour is not about saving electricity. You can leave on all your other appliances. It's far broader than that - it is a symbolic action and a powerful visual message to show governments that the people of the world want an effective global climate deal at the end of 2009.
At the end of this letter you can find a list of suggestions on how your school can become involved in Earth Hour. We would also love to hear what your school is doing for Earth Hour 2009. Please write to us and send us pictures and stories for our website and magazine, The Panda Bulletin.
If you are as excited about Earth Hour as we are, please visit www.earthhour.org.za where you will find many helpful tools, such as a DIY kit to roll out Earth Hour in your community and artwork for posters, flyers etc.
If, however, you prefer that we send you a DVD, please contact Candice Adams on 021 888 2840, firstname.lastname@example.org or Nicci Cloete-Annette on 021 888 2825, email@example.com.
We look forward to hearing from you and engaging with your school on Earth Hour 2009.For a living planet,
Dr Morné du Plessis
10 Ways Your School Can Support Earth Hour
On March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm, tens of millions of people around the world will turn out their lights for one hour — Earth Hour— to demonstrate their concern for our living planet and send a loud and visual message to our leaders that they support action on climate change. Here are a few ideas for what your school can do when the lights go out:
- Organise a school-wide assembly in early March to show the WWF Earth Hour video (downloadable from www.earthhour.org.za) and explain why the school supports the idea behind Earth Hour. Ask students to ask their parents if their family can participate.
- Sponsor an art competition in which students submit posters about Earth Hour that can be put on lampposts and notice boards around their towns and neighbourhoods.
- Send home flyers and email families about Earth Hour letting them know that your school will participate and ask families to turn out their lights at home on March 28.
Encourage parents to turn off the lights, the computer, the television, the video games and the CD players and spend family time by candlelight.
- Ask teachers to use Earth Hour as a reason to talk to their classes about climate change issues.
- Assign students to write essays about the meaning of Earth Hour and what they might do while the lights are out for that hour.
- Ask schools to turn out all non-essential lighting at their facilities during Earth Hour weekend.
- Hold classroom parties the week beforehand and serve green-themed food.
- Practice for Earth Hour by turning off the lights in classrooms and learning about how people lived, attended school and played before electricity became commonplace.
- Have older students research in advance what people did before there was electricity. What creative ways did people have fun before there was electricity?
- Allow students to fulfil their community service requirements by organising or raising awareness about Earth Hour in their community or suburbs.