I work for a travel wholesaler on Sydney's north shore and love photography, festivals & events, and travel, of course. My new passion is writing and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at www.travelwithirenke.blogspot.com
Earth Hour started in Australia 10 years ago as a grassroots movement that has grown into the world's biggest movement for climate change. Each year you are encouraged to turn off your lights for 1 hour on the night of the 25th of March and do your bit for the environment and the future of the planet. You're encouraged again this year to do the same to educate and support progress for the next generation.
In launch year 2007 in Sydney, 2.2 million people and 2100 businesses participated in the 'lights off' event. In 2016, Aussie 'lights out' saw over 6 million switch off and globally over 7000 cities and towns are now participating. It's come a long way, so let's make 2017 an anniversary to remember and hopefully take it further with even more getting on board.
In this 10th year of Earth Hour be sure to switch off at 8.30pm and, for those passionate about climate change, why not go further and do it once a week or once a month. For non-believers, check out the documentary specials online that highlight how climate change affects our food production and the places we love, like our coastline and beaches.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary, there are some interesting events around Sydney and its suburbs to enjoy, as follows:-
Earth Hour Festival – Randwick
There's a lot to love about this event with a myriad of things to do, starting from 2.30pm at the Randwick Community Centre. Enjoy 'Speed Date a Solar Expert' sessions and information talks on solar and battery systems. The sessions are free but you will need to book.
From 5pm-9pm, come one come all to a Twilight Picnic and Market which will take place on the Village Green at the Community Centre. Here you can enjoy live music and activities, such as lantern making and star gazing. Bring your rug for the evening and a picnic or purchase something from the various food trucks.
Furthermore, there's the opportunity to WIN an Earth Hour Dinner and dine by candlelight at your favourite local restaurant.
Address is 27 Munda St, Randwick.
Earth Hour Family Event – Thornleigh
Thornleigh Community Centre is putting on interactive activities for the whole family. Make some candles in the afternoon to use during 'lights out' in the evening and learn about reducing your impact on the environment through stalls on saving energy, composting and worm farming. Ratepayers from Hornsby Shire Council suburbs can also take home some native plants (must bring rates notice and id).
On from 2pm- 5pm, there's also face painting for the kids and a nocturnal animal display. Find the centre at Cnr Phyllis & Central Aves, Thornleigh.
Earth Hour – Sydney Observatory
As Sydney Harbour landmarks switch off, enjoy a special evening viewing the stars through a telescope and learn about astronomy and climate action in the process.
Located up on the hill at Millers Point (aka The Rocks), you can't miss this beautiful historic building that evolved from a fort to what it is today and hence the address 1003 Upper Fort St.
Transitions Film Festival – Chatswood
In partnership with Willoughby City Council, this festival presents a series of documentary screenings on the big screen at Chatswood Concourse (409 Victoria Ave).
Starting from 1pm, highlights include National Geographics' Years of Living Dangerous series, Catching the Sun, and Just Eat It, Who Cares. It will end with last year's Earth Hour doco, Places You Love.
Barzura By Candlelight – Coogee
This cafe cum restaurant bar is putting on a fine dining evening of food and wine set to the hues of flickering candles and views of Coogee Beach and the Pacific Ocean.
Great for romantics, you can book online using the form under the 'Contact Us' tab or telephone on 9665 5546.
Barzura can be found at 62 Carr St, Coogee.
Earth Hour – St Leonards Park
This park on the north shore is having a BYO Twilight Picnic from 6pm that will shine the light on climate change with an outdoor movie screening, along with an Indigenous storytelling performance and fire dancing afterwards.
St Leonards Park is located in Miller St, North Sydney.
Caring for the Future – Campbelltown
This event will take you on a journey into traditional and contemporary ways of connecting with the natural environment. Aboriginals have lived sustainably from the land for thousands of years and here local artists and Aboriginal elders will deliver activities from 7pm, including hands-on creative workshops that all ages will appreciate.
Later on at 8.30pm, gather around the fire pit under the starry sky to experience Dreamtime stories and dance performances by local Aboriginals. Bring a comfy cushion to sit on, make friends and commit to a brighter future.
You can find this event at Campbelltown Arts Centre, 1 Art Gallery Road, until 9.30pm.
No need to book, just turn up and enjoy.
All of the above events are on Saturday 25th March and all are free, with the exception of the Coogee dining experience.
If you have a community event, you can register it online and if you wish to donate towards a brighter and more sustainable world, you can do that here. T-shirts and a 'Planet to Plate' cookbook are also available to further support this worthy cause.
It makes me proud that this movement started down under in our great southern land that is worth caring about, along with the rest of the planet. We may not be able to stop meteors and other catastrophic events in the future but in the meantime we can certainly aim for a brighter future for our children, grandchildren and generations to come.
Bringing people together at the same time, Earth Hour is a wonderful home-grown success.