WWF Calls on Students to Take Part in Lights Out Campaign

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Feb. 26 unveiled new educational resources as part of its strategy to educate and engage young people about global climate change via the upcoming Earth Hour event.

Earth Hour is WWF's global initiative in which people around the world will show support for action on climate change by turning off their lights for one hour on March 28 at 8:30 p.m. local time.

WWF has launched an Earth Hour Web site just for young people, www.EarthHourKids.org, featuring age-appropriate information about climate change and the Earth Hour event with free educational materials, games, and social media applications. The Web site also provides tips for how parents can educate their children about environmental issues, with additional resources for educators about how to incorporate the issue into their lesson plans via grade-specific teaching guides.

The teaching guides, created for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, are available as free downloads. WWF officials stressed the importance of celebrating Earth Hour in a safe and secure environment by asking people to turn off non-essential lights during that hour. All lights impacting public safety will remain on, including street lights, and lights in public spaces, hospitals, or for emergency services will remain on for the duration of the event.

10 Things a Company Can Do to Support Earth Hour

At 8:30 p.m. on March 28, people will turn out their lights for one hour — Earth Hour—to demonstrate their concern for the planet and send a message to leaders that they support action on climate change.

Here are a few ideas for ways your organization can support and publicize Earth Hour:

1. Hold a contest among employees with a prize for the best ideas for reducing waste and cutting energy consumption in your company's daily operations.

2. Ask your business partners, suppliers, and industry peers to support Earth Hour. Hang banners and posters so that your support is visible to all who enter your offices or buildings.

3. Turn your Web site "go black" during the week leading up to Earth Hour; make all white backgrounds black and all black text white. (Google did this in 2008!) Post a blurb about the event on your homepage that links to the Earth Hour home page.

4. Hold a companywide event or celebration for employees the week proceeding Earth Hour and serve "green-themed" refreshments. Host an Earth Hour "lights out" party for your staff, customers and vendors on the night of the event. Be sure to turn out at 8:30 pm local time.

5. Schedule a meeting or send an email to employees from the chair or chief executive officer explaining why the company is supporting Earth Hour and urge them to "turn out" at home. The entire executive team should pledge to participate as well.

6. Create an Earth Hour section on the company intranet where employees can post ideas for celebrating Earth Hour and photos following up the event.

7. Hold employee contests with awards going to the staff member who recruits the most people to sign a pledge to say they will participate or who comes up with the most creative promotional idea for Earth Hour.

8. Ask the company cafeteria to hold a special candlelight lunch the week of Earth Hour, featuring dishes prepared using organic and sustainable products to remind employees about the event.

9. Create special TV, radio, and newspaper ads to showcase your company's participation in Earth Hour and to urge others to join.

10. Issue a news release and contact news media and radio stations and tell them what your company is doing to support Earth Hour and why.

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