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Earth Hour: 8:30 PM
March 23th, 2024

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Resources for extending the learning

Earth Hour had its beginning in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has quickly become a global environmental movement inviting people from all nations to ‘unplug’ in an urgent call for action on climate change. It has produced unforgettable images with entire cities throughout the world going dark for one hour on one day each year. In 2023 more than 410,000 hours were given to the planet in 190 plus countries. This year Earth Hour Global is asking all of us to help make this #the Biggest Hour for Earth by spending 60 minutes doing something - anything - positive for our one shared home.

For young people, Earth Hour can be a meaningful reminder that important environmental issues don’t have to overwhelm us and that there are things we can do every day that make a difference. WWF Canada is inviting schools from across Canada to share their Earth Hour activities and actions and show the impact that students can have. The days leading up to March 23 provide an excellent opportunity for students and teachers to explore climate change in the classroom and bring meaning to participation in Earth Hour.

Why Participate in Earth Hour?

Climate change is altering the planet. Severe environmental, economic and social consequences are becoming more and more evident as global temperatures increase. 

  • Climate change impacts all of us. From more extreme weather to increasing food prices, to recreation and decreased opportunities to appreciate the natural world, people everywhere will feel its effects.
  • Rising temperatures due to global warming threaten to increase flooding and droughts putting millions of homes at risk and endangering as many plant and animal species.
  • Climate change is causing a significant increase in the frequency, intensity, and impacts of some types of extreme weather events. (C2ES)
  • Globally the three warmest years on record have occurred within the last 7 years! (NOAA 2022)
  • Currently there are more than 100 million people living within three feet of sea level
  • Two-thirds of the world's polar bears could be lost within 50 years as a result of retreating sea ice, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
  • The IPCC estimates 3 billion or more people will be at risk of water shortage due to climate change in the decades ahead.
  • Per capita, Canada is among the top C02 emitting countries in the world
  • Research conducted by the NRDC shows that if present trends continue, the total cost of global warming over the next century will be measured in the trillions of dollars.
  • Climate change presents the single biggest threat to sustainable development everywhere and its widespread, unprecedented impacts disproportionately burden the poorest and most vulnerable. (UNFCCC)

Climate change is increasingly affecting human health, species distribution and the ability of the planet to provide.  How we deal with climate change is a crucial discussion that teachers and students should be actively engaged in.

Resources 4 Rethinking encourages students and teachers to participate in Earth Hour 2024. Top R4R Picks will connect you to some excellent resources to support these efforts.

For a comprehensive list of climate change materials, check out r4r’s Climate Change Resources for Teachers.

For more information and activities be sure to check out the Earth Hour Global website.