Long before the most recent United Nations Climate Change Conference( COP26 ) in 2021, which raised new alarms on the climate crisis, movements to reduce carbon footprint have gained worldwide traction.

One such initiative has been the annual Earth Hour. For one hour, individuals and businesses are encouraged to turn off all non-essential lights to cut down energy use. This year, Earth Hour falls on 25 March from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.

It’s not just about turning off the lights though. You and your family can find other fun and easy ways to do something positive for the planet in those 60 minutes, and enjoy some precious bonding moments together in the process!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Throw open the windows

Instead of using the air-conditioner, one of the biggest energy guzzlers at home, opt for the fan instead. You can enjoy the fresh evening breeze too by keeping the windows open!

2. Put on a movie

Rather than retreat to your own rooms with individual devices, declare movie night for the family. Everyone can relax over a good plotline (on just one device or the TV) and their favourite snacks.

3. Head out

Take a walk (or walk-a-jog) around the neighbourhood with the family and marvel at the visual difference where flats are dark. Spend this time also to catch up on events that have happened earlier in the week, look up for some stargazing and when the chance arises, you can also chat with neighbours in the hood to strengthen community bonds.

4. Cook a meal using only local ingredients

Singapore may import our food from a wide variety of countries for food security purposes, but going local invariably saves emissions on freight. A nutritious and yummy meal can be put together with our local veggies(courtesy of a burgeoning high-tech agriculture industry) and locally farmed fish.

5. Have a puzzling good time

Set up the candles and get around the table for a round (or ten) of Scrabble, Sudoku, word search or board games that everyone enjoys.Want some laughs? Try taking turns drawing in the dark and getting everyone to interpret the messy scrawls.