Turn down the heat, turn up the fun!

Calling all classrooms to turn down the heat and put on a sweater! National Sweater Day is a day to help raise awareness about renewable energy and change behaviours around energy consumption in Canada. Did you know? If all Canadians lowered their thermostats by just two degrees Celsius, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about four megatons — equivalent to taking nearly 700,000 cars off the road.
This year, National Sweater Day will be celebrated on Thursday, February 5. Sweater Day is a fun way for classrooms to get involved in the conversation about climate change. National Sweater Day happens once a year, so let’s make it count. Ask custodial staff to turn down the heat in school buildings, cozy up in the classroom and learn how your actions can help prevent climate change. Give your students a take-home letter in advance letting them know the school will be a little cooler!
We have compiled some cozy ideas for students and teachers!


How to get students involved: 

1. Ask questions

Ask students to think about why they’re wearing a sweater today — what is most important to them to protect from the effects of climate change? It could be a species, a region, an activity or anything else they love. The week of Sweater Day, start a Sweater Day countdown and allow students to fill it in with facts or reasons why it’s important to help fight against climate change. Use the questions to start the conversation and get them excited for the big day! Other question: Canada’s Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet. How does the temperature of your home affect the temperature of the polar bear’s Arctic habitat? Help your students make the connections between their thermostat, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, melting sea ice and Arctic wildlife.

©Leslie McGuire
©Leslie McGuire

2. Start a clothing drive

Fashion has a footprint. Organize a school-wide clothing drive or swap to give old clothes a new life! Donate clothing to a local charity or shelter; trade clothes among classmates or get crazy by adding new details to plain bags, toques and t-shirts. Take photographs and include pictures and stories in your next school e-newsletter. Your sweater is made from something that was once alive — and water and oil were used in its creation. Making sure unwanted clothes don’t end up in landfills cuts down on fashion’s footprint!

 3. Sell hot chocolate

What better way to get even cozier than to warm up with hot chocolate! Teachers and students can sell hot chocolate during breaks. Let the students know about the hot chocolate sale in advance and ask them what they would like to do with the proceeds to help fight against climate change.

© R. Blais / Golden Learning Centre
© R. Blais / Golden Learning Centre

Visit schools.wwf.ca/GetInvolved and select National Sweater Day to access tips, ideas and resources for taking part. WWF has created a free resource just for you, whether you are a teacher or an elementary, secondary or post-secondary student. Use that resource to plan a National Sweater Day event and raise awareness about climate change issues. Don’t forget the most important part — turning down the heat at school!
National Sweater Day is made possible through partial proceeds from the sale of plastic shopping bags in Loblaw banner stores across Canada. Since 2009, Loblaw Companies Limited has donated one million dollars annually to WWF, for a total of six million dollars, to support activities that engage Canadians on climate change and other conservation issues.