earth hour

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Did you unplug for Earth Hour on Saturday night?

I think that this is the fifth year that we’ve observed the event in our home, always with popcorn and Scrabble by candlelight. I stumbled upon it completely by accident, and can’t even remember how I first heard of the idea, but it’s appealed to me ever since. The simple fact is that turning the lights off for an hour does not make an enormous impact in and of itself, which I suppose is one of the arguments that detractors use against the event. The sad truth is that even though it’s been decades since the first Earth Day, there is still a place for awareness-raising on environmental issues. That is the goal of this hour of darkness: a global awareness.

What Earth Hour provides is an opportunity for normal people to stop and think about the small ways they can start to make a change. Going low-tech for the evening and eliminating the constant noise and static is the perfect opening for a family conversation on the bigger picture: what can our household do now to effect positive environmental change in our lives, and in the lives of our neighbors?

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Unfortunately, the message doesn’t seem to make it to people here in the United States. When you browse photos of famous buildings and landmarks going dark for Earth Hour, they’re all elsewhere; the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, the Brandenburg Gate. I’ve wondered for several years why I don’t see more about it here at home. TreeHugger shared their perspective on how the event was squashed here at the very beginning because of a political agenda, which is certainly plausible and worth further research.

I’d love to know – what did your Earth Hour look like? Had you heard about the concept before I invited you last week? What steps are you considering to lessen your own footprint?

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