I hope you’re making plans for this Saturday night! Saturday March 27 from 8:30-9:30pm (wherever you are, time zones don’t matter) it’s EARTH HOUR. This event has been building each year. In 2009, almost one billion people turned out their lights for Earth Hour, involving 4100 cities in 87 countries on seven continents– this year will be even bigger. And you need to be part of it!
People from all walks of life are participating in Earth Hour. You can go online and watch live as the lights go out in places like the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the strip in Las Vegas, the Eiffel Tower in France, and the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Your house and your lights are just as important as those places. Turning off your lights for Earth Hour makes a statement that we are united all over the world in our need to change our ways – stop wasting energy, develop new sources of renewable energy, combat climate change, and work together as a world-wide community to save our planet.
If you need more than my word for it, and even if you don’t (because it’s a really cool site), check out www.earthhour.org.
My kids think Earth Hour is one of the best holidays around. They’ve been planning the event for weeks. Their grandmother will be here to experience it with them. Last year we made popcorn and played Apples to Apples, this year’s plans are much the same except there is a grandparent here who is happy to indulge them, so the snacks may be a little fancier and the hour may stretch on a big longer than 60 minutes.
When we celebrated Earth Hour last year, we turned off more than lights – we tried to turn off every electrical appliance in the house and get our power usage down to nothing. I wish we had high speed internet, because it would be fun to watch Earth Hour on the rest of the East Coast.
By participating in Earth Hour we raise our kids’ awareness of the need for our world to work together for change to save our planet, but it’s also a great family memory. It’s one hour where we are all together, with no screens, no noise, no work to do. We’re joining together to make a statement, but we’re also gathering together just to be together. Last year the happiness was palpable. It felt a little like Christmas Eve. Everyone was in a good mood enjoying the “differentness” of our time. My youngest said to me nostalgically a few months later, “I wish we could have Earth Hour more than once a year.” Maybe we should.
I hope that this year you will honor Earth Hour in your home. Make up your own tradition. Like a lot of green initiatives, Earth Hour may not bring about change now, but it will change our children so that they will bring about change later. I believe this.