March 31, 2012

Earth Hour Part 2

Since our Earth Hour event at the Zoo is the first official event in Anchorage, we wanted to make it BIG.  So, we decided to go "beyond the hour" and throw out a challenge to schools within the Anchorage School District.  Since there isn't school on Saturday, we asked schools to choose the hour and participate in their own Earth Hour on Friday, March 30.  Several schools accepted the challenge. 

We spent the entire day at our partner school with kindergarteners to 6th graders, in complete darkness, making bird seed ornaments, playing polar bear board games, making collages out of recycled materials, making snow creations, planting pumpkin seeds and even reading stories.

The students got it.  They understood why we were doing what we were doing. Whether they learned how climate change affects polar bears or how trees help clean the air, they got it.  For them to understand what's happening to the environment and wanting to make a difference, is incredible.  They're our future.

It's not about the electricity or energy you save during that hour.  Earth Hour is a visual vote.  Similar to raising your hand when the teacher asks who wants to go out for recess.  It's visual.  When hundreds of millions of people, entire cities, even iconic landmarks, choose to sit in darkness for that one hour, it's noticeable.  It's this visual vote that shows governments and leaders how important the environment is and how much we care about our planet.

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