“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today,” said Malcolm X. No statement better exemplifies the actions of the kids, teenagers and young adults across the globe who are inspiring their communities to take part in Earth Hour in 2013. Their extraordinary stories of courage and determination are inspiring others to follow the lead of these young Earth Hour champions who are rallying their communities to go beyond the hour for Earth Hour on March 23 at 8:30PM.
“It makes so much sense that the young are leading the way towards a sustainable future. From giving up chocolates for a week to planting a million trees in a day, the youth remind us that there is no effort too small and that everyone can do something can to help save the planet,” said Andy Ridley, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Hour.
© Jeremiah Armstrong / WWF-Canada
No one is too young to participate in Earth Hour, but this year two five year olds are inspiring people to save the planet that they will inherit, making them the youngest Earth Hour heroes yet. In Greece, five-year-old Athenian Panagiotis Kalkavouras said he would stop eating chocolates for a week if 50 people green their balconies for his ‘I Will If You Will’ challenge. In Thailand, Earth Hour has inspired a five-year-old girl, Leelou, to create a short storybook called “Earth Hour” narrated by Leelou and her Dad.
Not only are preschoolers joining, for the third year running, preschool TV sensation Pocoyo is Earth Hour’s Global Kids Ambassador reaching kids through Pocoyo’s Ocean Cleanup Game. If 100,000 children go online and play the new Ocean Cleanup Game, Pocoyo and his friends have pledged to help collect over two tons of ocean debris.
In Canada, 10-year-old eco-blogger, Hannah Alper, launched an Earth Hour pledge called Stop, Start and Continue. This encourages people to vow their individual or family-wide commitment to making ‘eco-resolutions,’ like stopping personal use of plastic bags, and starting and continuing to buy locally, compost, or even just get outside more.
Earth Hour’s hero in Swaziland is Nathi Mzileni who in 2011, when he was just 15 years old started Earth Hour in his country single-handed. Today he has garnered the support of his government, the media and key businesses to promote Earth Hour, providing an inspiration to all of us.
© Istockphoto.com / WWF-Canada
The youth are daring their fellow pupils, teachers and communities to save the planet through their schools. So far, students from preschools to universities in 16 countries/territories are organizing their own celebration of Earth Hour.
In China, Earth Hour advocacy starts really young! WWF-China created Green Week, the new Earth Hour tradition with a different environmental action every day. Over 400 kindergartens in China will hold a drawing contest where the estimated 150,000 students draw their interpretation of the seven chosen environmental actions.
In Spain, students from the International School in Barcelona pledged to plant 1000 fruit trees in a developing country if 1000 teachers give one class per month without using photocopies until the end of 2013.
In Singapore, the National University of Singapore Students’ Union group ‘Students Against Violation of the Earth’ (SAVE) are planning a ‘Walking Movement’ on their Kent Ridge Campus on the week leading up to the day of Earth Hour where they will hold a free bike day (making bikes available for students to borrow) if 1,000 people pledge to walk for a day.
Earth Hour 2013 will take place at 8.30pm – 9.30pm on Saturday 23 March.