At 8.30pm on Saturday 23rd March 2013, hundreds of millions of people across the globe will switch off the lights of homes and businesses for one hour. Earth Hour is the world’s largest public environmental action, acknowledging a commitment to go beyond the hour with actions that benefit the planet in the year ahead. Your faith community can make a great contribution to this global pursuit of ongoing environmental change.
Faith communities can support Earth Hour 2013 by firstly switching out the lights of their places of worship and other buildings, as well as encouraging members and their local community to also participate. As revered institutions, faith communities are well positioned to be a driving force of action beyond the hour by leading, educating and encouraging local community members to make ongoing change to reduce their impact on the planet.
Show your community you’re supporting Earth Hour and contributing to global environmental change!
The following information outlines the various ways a religious organisation can make an ongoing Earth Hour commitment, be it big or small.
1) Switch off non-essential lights at 8:30pm on Saturday 23rd March 2013
Turn off non-essential lights in your places of worship and other buildings during Earth Hour 2012 from 8:30pm-9:30pm on Saturday 31 March 2012.
Join together with other committed religious organizations and community groups around the world in this global action.
Read about how the Johannesburg Anglican Environment Initiative (JAEI) celebrated Earth Hour in 2012.
For larger buildings, plan ahead with facilities and building managers to manage the logistics of switching off non-essential lighting for Earth Hour 2013 – including neon lights – in and around or near your properties.
2) Register your commitment on www.earthhour.org.
Show your support for Earth Hour 2013 by signing up and sharing your ongoing actions for the planet with the people of the world. It’s free and we’ll send you regular Earth Hour updates with inspiring actions from people and communities across the globe. To see how you can promote Earth Hour and your religious organisation’s active participation in this action, please see the promotional materials available on the website, provided for your use for free.
3) Communicate Earth Hour to your community
Earth Hour is apolitical and non-religious with a message of hope and action for the planet that unites people of all beliefs. Encourage participation in Earth Hour 2013 and communicate any positive actions you are taking for the planet that go beyond the hour.
Here are some simple ideas you could use:
- Announce Earth Hour at religious and community gatherings
- Display Earth Hour posters in places of worship and other buildings
- Include a link to the Earth Hour website on your homepage or hosting an Earth Hour banner on your website
- Include the Earth Hour logo on monthly newsletters to group members, on letterheads and in email signatures
- Organise special activities and events for Earth Hour such as candlelight vigil
4) Communicate Earth Hour to your staff & colleagues
Participating in Earth Hour requires every level of your faith community becoming involved. You could:
- Communicate Earth Hour to all staff and followers using email and other newsletters, posters, intranet, SMS, website, associations, committees and affiliates.
- Encourage colleagues, followers and their families to take part in Earth Hour at 8:30pm on Saturday 23rd March and commit to ongoing positive actions for the environment both in the workplace and at home.
5) Go beyond the hour in your community
Earth Hour is not just for one hour. It’s about making a commitment to ongoing change that reduces your impact on the environment and celebrating your commitment to the planet with the people of the world by participating in Earth Hour.
These are some of the ways your faith community can start to reduce its impact on the planet today as well as inspire others to do the same:
- Turning off lights after hours in offices or installing motion-sensor lighting
- Installing energy saving light bulbs and devices (e.g. timers on lighting), solar panels
- Turning off printers, computers, monitors, microwaves, coffee machines and other appliances at the power points at the end of the day when unused for long periods.
- Using hotboxes & solar ovens when catering meals for the community.
- Providing and encouraging staff and volunteers to use recycling facilities
- Involve your community groups in everyday change. Elect a green team of monitors for your organisation, whose job it is to ensure lights are out and appliances are off standby at the end of each working day.
When communicating with staff and the broader community make sure they are aware that your involvement in Earth Hour symbolises your commitment to go beyond the hour with an action that benefits the environment.
6) Share your Earth Hour story with the world
What are you doing for Earth Hour 2013 and, more importantly, beyond the hour? Have you been inspired by the actions of others? The Earth Hour website provides a platform for you to tell the world what actions your religious organisation is taking to contribute to global environmental change.
Thanks for your support!