Students get green and global during Earth Hour

Sometimes, it takes only an hour to make an impact.

Students at the University of Waterloo realized this on Saturday, March 19 when they gathered inside the V1 Great Hall on campus to participate in the global Earth Hour campaign. Hosted by the Federation of Students’ service, Sustainable Campus Initiative, Earth Hour was held from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. after a variety of eco-friendly workshops.

Students eating dinner in the dark

“It’s important to take action for Earth Hour,” said Sustainable Campus Initiative Coordinator, Katee Ezra. “All you need to do is turn off all the lights in your home or workplace for sixty minutes. It’s incredible how much of a positive difference that makes. It helps conserve so much energy. The service turned off all the lights in the V1 Great Hall.”

Students participating in pot-making workshopEarth Hour was launched by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Australia in 2007, and has grown into a world-wide movement to combat climate change. In 2016, Earth Hour took place in an unprecedented 178 countries and territories, making it the biggest celebration for our planet, ever.

Sustainable Campus Initiative included their own programming throughout the evening, where students engaged in workshops on how to create hazelnut spread and environmentally-friendly laundry soap.

“We provided all the materials,” said Ezra, a third-year environment and business student. “Fair trade chocolate was used for the hazelnut spread, and it tasted similar to Nutella. It was definitely very popular. Everyone who attended had the opportunity to decorate pots to take home, and put in some grass seed.”

Students from Sustainable Campus Initiative

Attendees also enjoyed acoustic music and trivia on topics such as energy conservation to raise awareness of different practices. By challenging Earth Hour participants to think differently about energy consumption and their contributions to climate change efforts, Sustainable Campus Initiative showcased how our student leaders are actively mobilizing others to ensure a sustainable future.

The evening, said Ezra, was a success because, “It showed everyone that when it comes to helping our environment, even the little things count.”

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