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Earth Hour for children in Seychelles |25 March 2022

Earth Hour for children in Seychelles

Mr Brown and his daughter taking a walk in nature – another activity which can help children develop their love for nature and appreciate everything that it gives us (Photo source: Phil Brown)

Tomorrow, March 26, 2022, supporters across the world will observe Earth Hour, an annual event dedicated to raising awareness about the climate crisis.

To mark this occasion, Seychelles NATION contacted Phil Brown, Literature specialist and deputy head teacher at International School Seychelles, to obtain his ideas on activities for children in observance of Earth Hour. 

Mr Brown tells us that countries around the world have been participating in the practice of Earth Hour since the early 2000s, explaining that on the last Saturday of March, people are encouraged to stay at home with the lights off and do something which takes the environment into consideration. It’s important, he adds, to think about the best ways to include young people in such traditions.

“In a world which seems intent to make our children look no further than their screens, the importance of taking an hour to regard and engage with the physical environment has never been more important,” says Mr Brown.

“As an educator and as a father I see it as one of my key responsibilities to think about ways to shape young minds towards seeing the natural environment as a thing to be protected and appreciated and respected. If you are fortunate enough be sharing this Saturday with a young person, I have put together a few ideas of what you might like to do in observance of Earth Hour.”



While the beauty of Seychelles is often visualised in daytime scenes of white sands, green palm-leaves and the emerald ocean, it is Mahé’s night sky that has most powerfully won my heart. Having grown up around London, I was raised accustomed to the permanent crepuscular gloom of light pollution, through which the constellations appear as faint pin-pricks.

On a clear night, the Seychelles sky-line is almost unbearably beautiful and an amazing resource for learning about the stars. When we teach young people to recognise star-patterns and the phases of the moon, we are allowing them to engage with a canvas which has been invaluable for sailors, philosophers, artists and travellers since the dawn of civilisation.

A great place to start is this wonderful guide from AMNH: A Children’s Guide to Star-Gazing


Fix something

In September 2020, our island was held under a thick cloud during a landfill fire. I clearly remember that time as an important wake up call to consider our relationship with waste and the easiness with which we throw things away.

I think the people of Seychelles know better than most the importance of the old British war-time phrase ‘make do and mend’. In a country where so much is imported at great expense, the need to care for and repair and refurbish and reupholster and patch-up the things that we rely on is absolutely central to our lives. It is also one of the many ways we help support the environment, rather than throwing away and buying new.

So perhaps Earth Hour could be best spent teaching the children in your life about how to fix things, whether it’s wiring a plug, resoling a shoe, mending the seams on some clothes or simply applying a bit of lubricant on the creaky hinges of the doors in your house. Whenever I want to get myself in the mood for fixing things, I consider these lines from Stewart Lee in his documentary about London’s object-fixing community:

“Repair is a language that takes time to learn. In amateur hands it’s a patch-up job, a temporary fix. In professional hands it’s something else. A talent to mend, to heal. To extend an object’s lifespan. ‘Throw away those old things!’ they say as they build in obsolescence to ensure new purchases. But among the back streets you’ll find a rebellious tradition that honours recovery.”

The full documentary of Stewart Lee on the Art of Repair can be found here:



I wouldn’t be any sort of English teacher if I didn’t suggest that an hour spent reading books together as a family is my preferred way of spending Earth Hour. These could be books explicitly about the environment, like the ones mentioned in the link below. Or the simple act of sitting in a room together reading books by candlelight is enough of a reminder that we don’t need to expend any electricity to have a wonderful evening in our homes.

The book lists below might be useful to you… or simply pick up that book you’ve been meaning to get round to for the last years / decades / etc., blow the dust off it and enjoy!

A Mighty Girl - Children’s Books on the Environment:

Free Kids Books Online – Nature:



As many teachers will tell you, the most powerful educational tool is well-crafted questioning and engaged responsive conversation. Conversation is so central to our lives that we almost always do it spontaneously, free-form, making it up as we go along to match the flow of the company we are in.

But some of the most powerful and meaningful conversations we ever have can also be the ones where some structure or planning has gone into it beforehand – think about interviews, therapy-sessions or, for any of you PhD students out there, viva voces!

Engaging young people in conversation can be one of the most effective ways to illicit and frame their thoughts on a topic as potentially abstract as the environment and is potentially a really beautiful way to spend Earth Hour.

I have included below a link to a guide from NPR about how to talk to young people about climate change and a list of conversation starters on the topic of the environment:

How to Talk to Kids about Climate Change (NPR):

Conversation Starters on Environment:



Last October, when writing a piece about the 6-hour Facebook blackout which most of us in Seychelles managed to sleep through, I commented on the growing evidence for links between screen time and anxiety in young people.

Our need to mediate our lives through our devices is clearly not just harmful to our minds but to the planet. Whether it’s the carbon emissions produced from Google-searches, the mining, refining and shipping of new smartphones or the constant battery recharging necessary to run the devices, we all need to develop ways to separate ourselves from our gadgets.

When we teach our children meditation strategies, we aren’t just teaching them how to separate from their energy-guzzling devices however, we are teaching them how to recognise and take control of their own emotions.

If you think that this is something that could benefit the young people in your life then perhaps the list of kid-friendly meditation techniques linked below will help you spend a pleasant and mindful Earth Hour together… although you don’t really need a whole hour for these, just 10 minutes will usually do!

3 Kid-Friendly Meditations: *

Hopefully one or two of these ideas will have been useful to any of you thinking about what you could do for Earth Hour this year. The most important thing however is that, whatever way works best for us, we continue to keep the environment in our minds and that we keep looking for ways to protect our children’s most precious inheritance.

For more information on Earth Hour, their official page can be found at:




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