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Children are the real stars of WWF’s Earth Hour

 

Earth Hour is fast approaching and as the Communications Manager for WWF Cymru my life seems to have been taken over by stars!

During the last month I’ve met stars of all shapes and sizes from Hollywood actors to international rugby players, from politicians to school children – all are supporting Earth Hour and our #welshwish campaign.

This Earth Hour takes place on Saturday, 29 March at 8.30-9.30pm and we’re hoping to get as many landmarks as possible to go dark so that we can all look up at the stars and reflect on our brilliant planet.

Welsh actor and Hollywood star Michael Sheen and Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton are supporting Earth Hour and our #welshwish campaign, because they believe in a sustainable future for Wales.

But the most important stars I’ve met  – in fact approximately 400 – are pupils of Llangewydd Junior School in Bridgend.

The children showed me their bike and scooter shed – one of the eco-friendly features of the school.

The school has signed up to Earth Hour and each class is taking part through making a wish for the planet’s future. They’re writing their wishes on stars and displaying them on animal shaped constellations.

I’ll be back at the school next week for a visit by the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Jeff Cuthbert. But this week I had the privilege of leading an all school assembly and took the children on a journey about our history and how Earth Hour has established itself as the world’s largest celebration for the planet.

Although one pupil was worried that ‘Earth Hour’ meant that their assembly would last a whole hour (!), the children (and teachers)  were fantastic – each and every one helping to make Earth Hour special.

Part of the school’s garden.

We discussed how our lifestyles impact on the planet – from the choices we make about the food we eat to how we heat our homes and how we travel.

I explained that currently people living in Wales need the resources of two planets to provide all their needs and that people living in America require nearly four planets.

Children recognised that this is a problem, given we only have the one planet! But they had great suggestions on how to reduce their impact on the planet from cycling more to growing their own food. In fact they liked our vision for a One Planet Wales; where we lead happy and healthy lives using only our fair share of the planet’s natural resources. We also watched our One Planet film made by children.

They shared some of their wishes with me which included; ‘I wish for safer roads so I can cycle more’; ‘I wish for less litter to be in our rivers’ and ‘I wish to grow more of the food I eat.”

Following the Assembly some pupils showed me their bikes and scooters which were parked in the cycle shed. The school  encourages pupils to cycle to school. I also saw their vegetable  garden; outdoor learning area and a beautifully decorated mural which carries the words ‘To conserve; to protect, to care for and to value’. Exactly what we need to do to ensure our planet is protected for future generations to enjoy.

I quite like this feeling of being surrounded by stars, especially when they’re as bright as the pupils of Llangewydd Junior School.

There are free Earth Hour resources for schools at www.wwf.org.uk/ehschoolresources – let me know what your school is doing for Earth Hour in the comments below!

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