This global phenomenon started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and spread across the world with the simple message that yes, we can all play a role, however small, in caring for this magnificent earth of ours. With more than 7,000 cities involved, each of us can participate in this one act to show our solidarity with the rest of the world and show our commitment to creating a better future for the planet.
What do we do? We simply shut down all the power in our homes (within reason) for one hour on the last Saturday of the month. I say, within reason, because you probably don't want to unplug the refrigerator. In our home, we will unplug most everything -- lights, telephones, televisions, computers, etc. With power strips, this is much easier, as we can just flip the switches. We'll even turn our furnace way back so it doesn't come on in this spring-disguised-as-winter we are having in Pittsburgh right now.
From 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., Bill and I will sit at a card table in front of the fireplace and play Bananagrams. Like Scrabble, Dominoes, or Boggle, it's an easy game to play by candlelight because there are dark letters on light tiles. The house will be dark and quiet.
We've come to enjoy this tradition. It's a peaceful time of togetherness.
Other ideas for this "dark" hour include:
- Prayer -- Who needs the lights on when we enter the throne room of the King?
- Cuddling -- Hey, it'll probably be a bit chilly.
- Sex -- Wouldn't it be fun to see a whole bunch of birth announcements on GG in the beginning of December this year? Plus, you just might find this to be a better activity to do with your spouse on a Saturday night in place of watching TV. Who says you can't carry on the tradition past March 29th?
- Family story time -- Take turns telling a story, or create one together with everyone adding a paragraph or sentence at a time.
- Reflection -- If you're spending Earth Hour by yourself, why not use this time to reflect about the past and plan for the future.
- Enjoy a candlelight dinner -- Make sure dinner is ready and the table is set by 8:30 and then relish a nice, long, relaxed dinner. Hold hands across the table and take the time to really look at each other. After all, we all look better by candlelight.