If you're new to the green movement and haven't heard of Earth Hour, it's a global event that started in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 as a way to make a difference in protecting the planet, even if it's just for an hour. Occurring the last Saturday of March every year, Earth Hour has grown to encompass 128 countries, including the US. In 2010, more than 90 million Americans participated in Earth Hour; national landmarks that participated include Mount Rushmore, the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge and Niagara Falls. This year Caesars Palace and the Flamingo Casino in Las Vegas, and Times Square in New York will also be turning off their lights.
Being eco-friendly for one hour isn't enough to save our planet, though, so Earth Hour has started an online/viral initiative to encourage people to commit to being green in their everyday activities. It's never too early to become more eco-minded, and Beyond the Hour is focusing on ways to help children join the Earth-loving green movement. Pocoyo, the newly appointed Kids' Ambassador, will be reaching out to millions of preschool-age fans across the globe, fostering "Learning through Laughter" to make kids more environmentally aware.
A Pocoyo activity book, promo, screensavers and wallpaper can be found here.
Make being green a fun endeavor for your children and just watch them become eco-friendly adults.
Explain to children that lights, TVs and computers use energy, and that it is not limitless.
Invent games such as tossing non-breakable recyclable items into trashcans at a short distance. Use recyclable materials in craft and art projects.
Once a week, have a candlelight family hour and tell stories or play games instead of watching TV.
Turn off the water while brushing teeth, take shorter showers -- and no water-hose fights in hot weather.
Email invitations; choose reusable kid-friendly cups and plates; and create a craft activity for kids to take something home instead of wasteful goody bags.
Double the efficiency of your car by carpooling to pre-school.
Choose recycled pencils and notebooks, PVC-free shoes, hemp backpacks, and organic cotton clothes or re-used clothing when possible.
Americans use 380 billion plastic bags every year. In addition to being manufactured from fossil fuels, plastic bags degrade slowly. Buy a canvas bag and decorate it with recycled items.
Create a worm composter. Almost 75 per cent of household waste is compostable. Have children fill the composter with food scraps and they will see how "garbage" becomes rich dirt they can help you use in the garden.
Have a weekly contest with friends to see who did the most to help save the planet.
For more eco-friendly tips and information on Earth Hour, visit www.earthhour.org.
This how-to video by the nonprofit group Kitchen Gardeners International gives you step-by-step instructions for successful organic composting.
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