Make a promise for Earth Hour!
Young people in Leeds are leading the way when it comes to making promises for the planet.
Earth Hour (24 March, 8.30pm) is a chance to be part of a global initiative to help protect the world we love - and Brownies, Cubs, schools and youth organisations are currently making the running in Leeds on WWF's interactive map.
Earth Hour is, of course, famous for people switching off their lights as a show of solidarity for the planet. Last year, over 9 million people worldwide took part, with famous landmarks like the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Hour and Buckingham Palace switching off their lights.
This year in Leeds, the Civic Hall will once again be dimming its lights at 8.30pm for an hour. Leeds Climate Commission would like organisations, businesses and citizens in Leeds to join in the symbolic gesture by switching off lights across the city, as well as signing up to promises with WWF.
You can log your support for Earth Hour on WWF's interactive map as St Augustine's RC Primary School, 1st Roundhay Guides and 2nd Meanwood Brownies have already done, along with other schools and youth organisations.
"It is brilliant that our young people are demonstrating their commitment. We hope that people in Leeds will be inspired by them and join in too. Leeds Climate Commission would love to see the Leeds area covered in events and promises!" said Kate Lock, Engagement and Communications Officer for the Commission.
Individual lifestyle behaviour, such as how we use the the energy in our homes, what transport options we pick and choosing sustainable diets can, collectively, make a massive difference to reducing emissions. To encourage people to make changes, Earth Hour has a series of simple promises to sign up for. These include switching to green energy, buying an electric car, using a reusable cup and reducing meat consumption (see the list here, or you can make you own pledge).
A number of these choices were highlighted at our Leeds Climate Forum meeting in October 2017, with food waste emerging as a top priority. Leeds Climate Commission has been involved in research at the University of Leeds demonstrating how tackling food waste can make a really substantial impact on reducing carbon emissions, so the Commission has opted to reuse or compost leftover food as our promise.
Switching off does not need to mean sitting quietly in the dark: the Earth Hour website 60 suggestions for marking it, from holding a candlelit dinner party (or simply toasting marshmallows!) to catching up with friends, stargazing, playing games or relaxing to music.
If you are taking part, Leeds Climate Commission would love to hear about your activities so that we can do a round up afterwards. Don't forget to share it using hashtags #EarthHourUk and #LeedsClimate.
Main image: © Jeremiah Armstrong / WWF-Canada