Earth Hour for schools
Saturday March 30th 2019, 8:30 - 9.30pm
Earth Hour is a great opportunity to engage students and staff alike with issues relating to the Earth and sustainability and also make these messages heard in your community.
You can start by joining hundreds of other schools in Scotland in signing up to participate and also encourage your staff and pupils to join in too.
Here are some ideas for celebrating Earth Hour at schools and 60 things to do in the dark are some ideas for how to spend the hour of darkness. More resources can be found through Earth Hour - Useful Resources.
Earth Hour 2019 is being held on the 30th March - as well as joining in with the big switch off, you can make a simple promise to help our environment.
What are you doing for Earth Hour?
We'd love to hear what you're planning and share it with the world to help inspire others. If you'd like to share your Earth Hour, please send your stories and photos to Peter.firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the things you've done in the past include:
At Williamston Primary school, the eco-group made posters and put them up around the school:
They also did a presentation to the whole school at assembly, where they also showed a video about Earth Hour.
On the Friday before Earth Hour all the classes had a no technologies day and switched off their classroom lights. They also participated in the For the Love Of campaign, with classes designing flags to create some school bunting to put up on their Eco display.
St. Mary's Primary in Bathgate celebrated Earth Hour by asking all children to come to school in bright clothing (fluorescent colours).
They also held a switch off with all smart boards, lights and computers getting switched off for an hour.
In addition, all classes made bright stars with their For the Love Of ... thoughts, which were put up onto a wonderful collage wall display:
Finally, through a newsletter and other communications, families were encouraged to celebrate Earth Hour on the 28th.
At Eastertoun Primary and Nursery School the eco-elective groups learned about Earth Hour and made bunting about what they love about nature. These are now displayed in the school hall, along with pictures and collages of planet earth and official Earth Hour posters. Some of these children also delivered an assembly presentation to tell the rest of the school about the event.
During the week leading up to Earth Hour, all classes went on a walk around Armadale to appreciate the nature around them and look for signs of spring. Upon their return, they kept classroom lights and equipment off for one hour. They also made invitations to take home to their families to encourage them to take part in the official Earth Hour and the school made an effort to switch off for the whole of Earth Hour weekend.
Over at Inveralmond Community High School, the Green Impact group has been busy too. Following an energy audit of the building, they put together a checklist for staff to use on the day before Earth Hour to ensure that as much equipment as possible is turned off. They also made bunting to put up around the school and staff were encouraged to have a lesson in the dark!
Bathgate Academy participated in the Earth Hour Weekend Switch Off.
Their Energy Ambassadors launched the switch off on the Friday before Earth Hour, targeting lights, computers, computer monitors, smart boards and projectors, as well as ensuring no windows were left on and that the pool cover was in place over the weekend to help save energy. They circulated a checklist to departmental staff, senior management, canteen and janitorial staff staff and janitors and also made an announcement before the end of the school day.
As Earth Hour falls on a Saturday evening, it is outwith the normal operating hours of many school buildings. However, this does not mean that you cannot make a symbolic (and impactful) statement about it.
The rules are simple:
Switch the school off as much as possible for Earth Hour weekend. Here's some key things to look out for:
- make sure all lights, computers, computers monitors, smart boards and projectors are switched off at the end of the school day on Friday
- also, make sure there are no windows left open
- make sure the pool cover is on the pool when it is not being used over the weekend
In addition to an Earth Hour switch off campaign, this will involve a run of the building at the end of the school day on Friday 24 March in order to ensure that everything is switched off. It may also be important to coordinate with cleaners and other later and/or weekend building users.
Raise awareness this Earth Hour by sharing some climate change facts at school.
Did you know....?
- Weather data collected since 1961 clearly shows that the climate in Scotland has changed significantly over the last 40 years with average temperatures increasing by 0.5°C since 1914
- 97% of scientists agree that the changes to the world's climate that have been observed over the past century are very likely the result of human activity -specifically Green house Gas emissions as a result of fossil fuel combustion.
- In Scotland, we can expect to see milder, wetter winters and warmer, drier summers; wildfires; water shortages, but also more extreme rainfall events and flooding
- Climate affects all aspects of human life, staring with our food and water, wellbeing and diseases to our infrastructure and economy
- It is too late to stop climate change, but depending on the action that we take to slow it down, we are looking at an increase in global temperature of between 1-5 'C
- This may not sound like a lot, but the Earth's climate is a complex and delicate system. During the ice ages, global temperatures were only around 5' colder than they are today.
- This is why it is important to act not only to slow down climate change ('mitigation') but also to build resilience and adapt to its effects ('mitigation').
- Scotland has some of the most ambitious CO2 reduction targets in the world, aiming for a 42% cut from 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050
West Lothian and Scotland is home to some very important carbon sinks: about 18% of the world's peatlands are found in Scotland and are thought to hold over 3000 million tons of carbon. Unfortunately, Scotland has already lost approximately 80% of its peatlands through land reclamation, forestry, farming and peat extraction and many of those remaining are under threat.
To find out what West Lothian Council is doing about climate change, visit our climate change pages Climate Change.