This was my youngest daughter’s response when I reminded her that Earth Hour is coming up this weekend, starting at 8.30pm on Saturday 27th March. “Can we get the candles ready?” Her excitement has been growing ever since . . .

Earth Hour is an annual event that sees people all over the world switching off their lights in a simple act of environmental solidarity. Things are a bit different this year. We can’t gather in groups or attend public events as we might in other years. What will we do instead?

The JPIC team at Southwark Diocese will be taking action in a variety of ways. Bethany, the Mission Team’s content officer, plans to gather with her partner for a social hour in the garden, keeping warm around the fire. Head of JPIC, Nicola, and her family, will be playing board games by candlelight, while my family and I will be outdoors with candles (torches if it’s windy) doing an in-the-dark treasure hunt!

There are heaps more ideas at the Earth Hour website – including live stream events – as well as a brand new video release on the night, Earth Hour Virtual Spotlight, which we’re encouraged to share via social media, #EarthHour. Please share whatever you decide to do, with us directly as well, using the hashtag #EcoSouthwark. We love to see what you’re doing to help save the planet!

There’s even a list of 20 suggestions for ways to spend the evening: how about candlelit photography or living room camping? You could serve Dinner In The Dark, perhaps setting yourself the challenge of creating a planet-friendly meal, a zero waste meal, or even try blindfold food tasting! A themed movie night is another of the many ideas, and the Environmental Film Festival is offering many of its films to view for free. If you feel inspired by Earth Hour to take positive environmental action, you could spend some time calculating your carbon footprint and choosing small steps to reduce it.

Or perhaps you could take this candlelit time to meditate, contemplate the miraculous gift of our planet, and pray for the healing and renewal of God’s creation.

Whatever you do, we hope you will join with us in switching out the lights for an hour on Saturday evening, in this symbolic moment of collective action, unity and hope.

Laura Baggaley
Environmental Admin Coordinator, JPIC

Email Laura