I realized yesterday morning that Earth Hour was approaching last night and though I hadn’t given it much though before that moment, decided to participate. My first thought about participating was actually a worry: what was I going to do with myself in the dark for an hour? It seemed silly to me to turn off my lights for an hour and still use other types of power, so I decided that I would abstain from doing anything power-related during Earth Hour.
It’s amazing to me how much preparation I had to do to plan for the lights to be off. I dug out our BBQ lighter, some candles and our crank-powered flashlight, which was completely dead and needed some cranking. I put in some laundry so it would finish before 8:30pm and dug out some paper, a pen and some notecards to write this blog (there’s a first) and some letters to friends (my, they’ll be shocked). I watched an hour of TV (my daily maximum) and thought up some chores that I could do sans-power when the time came.
Too excited to wait for 8:30, I turned everything off at 8:15 and looked out the window. Nothing seemed different. I wondered if my neighbours would be taking part in a few minutes. This is Victoria after all, if we’re not green who is?
Enjoying the romantic quality of my candlelight, I looked out the front window again at 8:30. Nothing had changed. All of my neighbours within sight of my front and back windows had lights on. Was I the only one sitting alone in the dark writing by candlelight? A news article on the Internet yesterday said that surveys showed that 80% of Canadians were planning to shut off their lights for Earth Hour. I guess those guys must live in a different neighbourhood in Victoria…
Well, at least I was enjoying the opportunity. I cracked open a scented candle that my husband had gotten me for Christmas 2007 that I had just never gotten around to using, and I thought about how foreign it felt to put a pen in my hand and put it to paper for an extended write. I thought I would surprise a friend by sending her a handwritten note inthe mail. Whoever does that anymore (besides my Aunt Nancy) in this age of email, Facebook, and Twitter, and … well the list goes on, doesn’t it? Last night Aunt Nancy would have been proud.
What else did I do during Earth Hour there in the dark?
- folded and put away a load of laundry
- checked on my neighbours again (one house now looked dark)
- wrote this blog
- realized the light switches in my kitchen and dining room are backlit
- took a picture of my writing station (above)
- planned meals for the upcoming week
- cursed my front of the house motion detector light for still coming on occasionally
- enjoyed the scent of my candle that had been hidden away for so long
- wished that I could see better in the dark
- felt pure for doing all this by candlelight
- checked on my neighbours again (still only one dark)
- looked at the clock
- enjoyed the silence
- picked up some of Chelsea’s toys so I wouldn’t trip on them in the dark
- wrote up a grocery list
- reviewed the list of chores that I had to do today
- marvelled at how crappy my IKEA tealight candles are
- got changed for bed
- noticed how much my hand hurt after writing so much
- started to think that maybe the candle was too potent
- looked at the clock
- felt pure again
- got into bed
I must admit that when I turned on my bedsight light to read at 9:35pm part of me was a little sad. I actually enjoyed my power-less, light-less hour in the dark. I hope those of you who did participate did too.