Switch Off Lights Earth Hour colouring page

This month we are celebrating “Earth Hour”, the global initiative to switch off our lights for 1 hour to show support for our planet.

We’ve created an “Earth Hour” colouring page this month to recognise how switching off our lights can help our planets fauna and flora.

Did you know that artificial lights at night can confuse many animals and plants?  We’ve placed this question at the top of our colouring page to prompt further discussions and research into this conservation topic. See below for examples of how each animal we’ve included on our colouring page, can be confused by artificial light.

Click the link to download this colouring activity from Planet Designs Kids Planet Designs Kids Free Downloads on our website or on our Pinterest account.

How artificial light can confuse animals and plants:

  • Owls - Many Owls hunt at night in darkness but artificial light takes away their ability to sneak up on prey. When they can easily be seen, prey can escape and they in turn go hungry.
  • Butterflies - Monarch Butterflies navigate by telling time through the position of the sun. When artificial lights are on they can become confused whether it’s day or night, whether they should be flying or sleeping, and can lose their way.  Researchers have also found that roosting butterflies can sometimes become disorientated by artificial light upsetting their circadian rhythm (a natural 24 hour clock cycle in their body).
  • Migrating Birds - Artificial lights can confuse birds about where they are. It can interfere with their internal compass. They can die from exhaustion, using up all their energy flying extra distances to go around the bright lights. Or they can be blinded by the lights and fly into buildings and other objects.
  • Frogs - When it becomes dark at night, some frogs croak to find partners to breed with. But when artificial lights are on, the frogs don’t think it’s time to begin croaking, and never breed.
  • Moths - Moths and other nocturnal insects use the light from the moon and stars to navigate and can get lost and confused by artificial lights. They’ll fly in circles around the lights and exhaust themselves from the endless flight. They forget to be careful of predators, who can clearly see them in the bright light. They can also die from becoming over heated when they get too close to the light source.
  • Turtle Hatchlings - When baby Sea Turtle’s hatch they use the moon and stars to navigate to the ocean, but artificial lights in torches / street lights / and buildings can confuse them and they lose their way.
  • Trees - Trees change their growing patterns with the seasons. They use the length of daylight hours to tell what season it is: Winter has shorter daylight hours, Summer has longer daylight hours. Artificial light confuses the tree’s time keeping of the length of daylight hours, which upsets the timing of the seasons. So the tree might lose it’s leaves later in Autumn using up more energy than it can make. Or it might bud earlier in Spring which can damage the new shoots if the weather is still too cold. This in turn stresses the tree, making it more vulnerable to pests, weather changes and pollution.
  • Zooplankton - Zooplankton use the cycle of day and night to move up and down in the water to feed and avoid predators. Artificial light disrupts their day and night cycle causing them to move in different ways, and at different times, which can confuse their whole life cycle pattern.

To download or print using the above links: 

* Planet Designs Kids Free Downloads (on our website) - click the “Planet Designs Kids Free Downloads” link and it will take you to the free downloads page on our website. Put in your email address and you’ll have free access to all of our free colouring activities. Click “Continue”, then on the page you want click “Download”, and it will then be saved in your downloads folder where you can print it.

* Pinterest - click the “Pinterest” link and it will take you to the Planet Designs Kids Pinterest account where you can find the above colouring activity, click the menu button at top of picture (3 dots … ), and select “Download Image”, it will then be saved in your downloads folder where you can print it.

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