February 12, 2009

Environmental Activism at Mount Allison: Lights Out Canada

One of the biggest attractions of Mount Allison for me is the student involvement on campus. At Mount Allison with a good idea and an application to the SAC you can become club on campus. A friend of mine, Keleigh Annau created the organization Lights Out Canada and is planning an event to bring attention to global climate change on campus on March 20th, 2009.

The group will ask that the school turn all the lights off on campus buildings and encourage student to go to the Lights Out website to commit to leading more sustainable lifestyles. On Earth Day (April 22, 2009), the group will encourage businesses and individuals to turn off their lights across the country.
Below I've included the project summary and steps for students, which is part of the Lesson Plan and Event Guide available at www.lightsoutcanada.org. For more information see their website or contact Keleigh Annau at lightsoutcanada@gmail.com

Project Summary:

"Turn off the lights & switch on education about global warming”

Lights Out Canada is a national event during which schools across the country turn off
their lights and spend the day learning about climate change and what youth can do to
lead more sustainable lifestyles.
Our goals are to:

- Educate students and teachers about the dangers of climate change.
- Provide participants with a host of ideas as to how to change everyday habits
and lead more sustainable lifestyles.
- Encourage schools to be aware of environmentally unfriendly practices, and
revise them.

We provide comprehensive lesson plans, step-by-step participation guides, and visual
aids in order to make Lights Out Canada a success in participating schools. By increasing
awareness and encouraging discussion, active participants will make a conscious effort
to curb their energy use, both at school, and at home.
Our lesson plans detail:

• What is global warming?
• Why is it occurring?
• Why is it a problem?
• How can I make a difference?

We want our peers to realize that global warming is not a far off concept, it is happening
now, and its effects are being felt today. Ice in the arctic is melting. Ocean levels are on
the rise, and changing climates have contributed to the extreme weather felt around
the world.

The repercussions of growing greenhouse gas emissions will be
one of the greatest (if not the most prominent) issues that our
generation will face. It is our responsibility to put an end to this
dangerous trend. It is no great inconvenience to turn off the
lights during the daylight hours, or when we leave a room, and it
is greatly beneficial to our health to walk or bike when that is a
feasible option. Lights Out Canada will not stop global warming.
It will, however, give students a quantity of tools they need to
preserve our country, and our planet, for future generations.


Steps for Students
Follow these steps to make Lights Out World a success at your school!
1. Read through the “Project Summary”. Visit: www.lightsoutcanada.org for more information and downloads. If
you have any further questions about the project, email the Lights Out Team at lightsoutcanada@gmail.com.
REMEMBER: Today is better than tomorrow! Start planning the event in your school ASAP! Making the
necessary arrangements earlier on will make the project much easier to carry‐out as the event draws nearer!
2. Give the “Steps for Teachers” and “Steps for Administrators” pages to your principal and a teacher who you
think would be interested in helping you with the project (perhaps your Leadership or Student Council
3. Once you have discussed the project with your principal (BE ENTHUSIASTIC!) and received permission to hold
Lights Out Canada in your school, register your school on www.lightsoutcanada.org.
4. Take the project idea to your school’s leadership class and student council. Although there is not much extra
work involved, there will probably be other students willing to help you put up posters, etc.
5. Either present Lights Out Canada at a staff meeting, or ask your teacher liaison or principal to let all of the
teachers know about the project. Don’t be nervous about presenting; you could simply read from the “Project
6. Check in with your teacher and principal each week leading up to the national Lights Out Canada day to make
sure that any concerns they have are addressed. (Remember: email the Lights Out Team with any questions,
any time!)
7. Two weeks prior to the Lights Out Day (April 22, 2009), put up the Lights Out posters. If you need more posters
to plaster your school with, either ask permission from your teacher to use the school’s photocopier or print
them off from www.lightsoutcanada.org (under “Stuff For You”). If possible, please use recycled paper and
either save the poster for future Lights Out events or recycle them after the event.
If your school has morning announcements or a school newsletter, let the rest of the school know about Lights
Out Canada with a blurb such as:
“Lights Out Canada‐ On (April 22, 2009), our school will be participating in the international event
“Lights Out Canada”. Get ready to turn off the lights and switch on education about climate change!”
Remember: The best advertising method is word of mouth. Tell all of your friends about the project. Ask your
teachers if you can have 3 minutes at the beginning of each class to remind people of the event and why your
school is participating. We’ve learned through experience that if you are passionate about the project, your
enthusiasm will be contagious.
8. Ask permission from your liaison teacher to photocopy the lesson plans for your school at least three weeks
before the Lights Out Day. Distribute the lesson plans at least two weeks in advance either directly to the
teachers or in their boxes (if you do this you must also make announcements reminding the teachers that that
is where they are located). NOTE: The lesson plans are to be run through at the beginning of the Lights Out
Day, so save paper and only distribute them to teachers that will have classes that morning. Don’t forget to
photocopy on both sides and use recycled paper if possible.
9. Make sure teachers know that in dark areas of the school, only turning off half the lights is fine.
10. Inspire other youth and do presentations in local schools. We will provide you with copies of the presentations
we use. Email us and spread the word amongst youth in your area!
11. On April 22, 2009, turn off the lights! The Lights Out Team would really appreciate feedback after the event
and any pictures or anecdotes about how you celebrated the Lights Out Day in your school!


  1. "Educate students and teachers about the dangers of climate change."
    Who is Going to do this "Education" ? or should it be called " Indoctrination"
    "Ice in the arctic is melting" Explain how it can at -60C.37% more Ice in 2008 then 2007. Unless of course we are talking about the " Summer" sea ice.
    "Ocean levels are on the rise" Ocean Levels have been rising since the end of the Ice Age and is Consistent and withing Normal Range since then No Acceleration what so ever.
    "changing climates" We have One Climate with different weather Patterns. Glad to get this Warning ahead of time that way I can get around the Schools and be Present when the Indoctrination kicks in Gear so the Children can Get a Proper Education. Thank you.

  2. If I had to guess I would say teachers educate students.

    "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level"

    Recent temperatures are not as important as the trend towards higher global temperatures. For scientific evidence for human-caused global climate change see the Intergovernmental
    Panel on Climate Change Summary available at:

    This is not a forum for discussing climate change. I would refer you to Keleigh Annau at lightsoutcanada@gmail.com for any questions or comments.