Earth Hour

Earth Hour

March 10, 2009 09:39 ET

Celebrating Earth Hour as a Family: WWF-Canada and Sears Canada Present the Family Guide to Earth Hour

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 10, 2009) - In support of Earth Hour, WWF-Canada and Sears Canada, a national sponsor of Earth Hour, present the Family Guide to Earth Hour, a series of tips and ideas to show Canadian parents that global change begins at home. By talking to children and making little changes in and around the house, Canadian families can make a positive impact for Earth Hour and beyond.

Earth Hour is a global lights out phenomenon, led by WWF (World Wildlife Fund) to demonstrate that individual action is important and adds up to make a big difference. To date, a record 900 cities and towns in 75 countries have committed to turn off their lights on March 28 at 8:30 p.m. But as much as Earth Hour is a global event, it is also an event for the family.

"Earth Hour provides a great opportunity for families to spend time together," says Dene Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sears Canada. "By discussing the spirit behind Earth Hour, and why so many people around the world are participating, you can teach your kids about climate change and the importance of personal action."

"Your family can take simple steps everyday and at any hour to help fight climate change," says Gerald Butts, President and CEO, WWF-Canada. "Use the occasion of Earth Hour to talk to your kids about climate change and get them inspired to make their own difference year round."

Here are 11 ways to get kids involved and engaged year-round in climate change:

1. Make a plan: Use this year's Earth Hour to discuss what your family can do year-round to take action for the planet, like turning off the lights when no one is in the room and using cold water to wash your clothes. Engage your children in conversation and have them come up with their own ways to save energy, limit waste and make a positive impact on the environment. For ideas visit TheGoodLife.wwf.ca.

2. Community involvement: What Earth Hour events are taking place in your community? Already more than 100 cities and municipalities across Canada have signed on to take part in Earth Hour. Find or post other events taking place in your community where you and your children can get involved. Feeling part of a community with purpose will prompt your kids to start seeking out opportunities and get involved on their own.

3. Plant the seed: Help your children plant an indoor spice garden. Not only is this a great way to produce home grown herbs and add flavour to your meals, it also reduces food miles associated with buying food at a grocery store that may have been shipped from thousands of miles away.

4. Candle-lit games night: What a great time to get out the board games or play a game of flashlight tag. Get the family gathered for some old fashioned quality time to remind your children that games can be played without a computer or TV screen and that fun can be had with mom or dad.

5. Take a tour: Explore your neighborhood and travel around the city using fun and smart means of transportation - walk, bike, skateboard, scooter, or take the bus and show your kids that travel can be fun and sometimes faster when you leave your car at home.

6. Smart shopping: Provide some hands on education with a shopping trip that includes a list to start, so that you stick to the purchases you need and let your children help find the smart alternatives like environmentally friendly cleaners, energy saving light bulbs and recycled products - and don't forget to bring your reusable bag.

7. Scavenge and save: Set up a scavenger hunt in and around your house to mark off areas where energy can be saved. Place flags or stickers in spots where appliances or computers can be unplugged and lights turned off, highlighting the spots where they can make a difference.

8. Breakdown the buzz words: Talk about the meaning behind commonly used terms like climate change, carbon foot print, eco-friendly and global warming. Sometimes words get thrown around and are not actually explained keeping youth from getting inspired and involved.

9. Do the math: Calculate the ways you can save energy in and around your home and use comparisons to help your children understand the impact they can have - not only on the household bills but on the environment as a whole. Explain the savings and benefits that result from every step they take to reduce the use of energy. To determine the actual greenhouse gas savings associated with specific action visit TheGoodLife.wwf.ca.

10. Answer the call of the wild: Take this opportunity to look at other threats to our environment. Talk to your children about endangered animals and what is threatening their survival. Together you can brainstorm unique ways to help and learn what organizations such as WWF-Canada are doing to aid species at risk.

11. Family Feud: Nothing like pitting mom against dad and brother against sister in some light-hearted competition to get inspired! Healthy competition, whether it's tracking and comparing the carbon foot print of each household member or creating a family challenge get your household charged, can make saving energy a sport where everyone can win!

About Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM to show their support for action on climate change. The event began in Sydney in 2007, and has since grown into a global movement with a goal of reaching one billion people in 1,000 cities in 2009. In Canada, Sears Canada, CBC, and Coca Cola Ltd. (Coca-Cola in Canada) are the official sponsors. EarthHourCanada.org.

About WWF

WWF-Canada is part of WWF - the global conservation organization. Founded in 1967, WWF-Canada has become one of the country's leading conservation organizations, enjoying the active support of more than 100,000 Canadians. WWF-Canada works to save nature by conserving species and protecting their habitats; by ensuring our use of natural resources is sustainable, and by helping individuals, companies and governments reduce pollution. For more information, visit wwf.ca.

About Sears Canada

Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network of 198 corporate stores, 187 dealer stores, 44 home improvement showrooms, over 1,850 catalogue merchandise pick-up locations, 106 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home maintenance, repair, and installation network. The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at www.sears.ca.

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