Saturday, March 29, 2008

Planning for 60 minutes in the Dark

Earth Hour is basically a movement about turning off electrical equipment for 60 minutes.  It's not really that complicated, but it can take some planning.  I mean, what does one do on a Saturday night without the TV, computer, lava lamp, or blender?  

My romantic self is picturing a candlelit dinner of mushroom risotto, red wine, a mesclun salad, and lots of hand-holding and eye-gazing.  However, the fact is, we will have eaten before that, and my hands are unmanicured and dry from Winter.  
The website has some ideas for darkness activities.  One is "Clean Up Your Neighborhood!"  They suggest taking a flashlight and roaming the neighborhood picking up trash.  While my street could definitely use that, I wouldn't want to go alone, and I can't imaging hiring a sitter to wait for us in the dark while we are out cleaning up.  Next.  If we had older kids, their suggestion of "Do a Recyclables Scavenger Hunt" would be kind of fun.  Traipse through your apartment (or home, if you are so lucky) looking for and/or identifying opportunities to recycle.  I'm sure we have some lingering in the cupboard.  However, our off-spring will be sleeping.  Or he had better be sleeping.  And I don't think I can get my husband to go along with that without a child involved.    

I like the "Unplug and Chill Out" suggestion.  Interpret it any way you like.   Either that or having a few friends over for wine and cheese by candlelight.  I suppose that can be chilling out as well.  Either way, the lights and TV and Desktop will be off for at least an hour.  Who knows, maybe I'll even get a full night's sleep out of the deal.   

The concrete results are up for debate, but the most important impact, I think, is awareness of how much unnecessary electricity we use.  Are lights left on in empty rooms?  Do we lean into the Fridge pondering our next snack?  Is the computer left to its own devices while we go out and perform tasks and errands all day?  Ah well, I hope NYC joins in.  At least this one little household in Sunset Park will be tuning out for 60 or so minutes.  

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