Published on April 22, 2021
Blog contributed by Lacie Wever, HRSD Community Outreach and Education Specialist
When is the last time you switched off your lights and sat in the dark to express support for our planet? Until this past weekend, my answer to that question would have been never. On the last Saturday of March, however, millions of people from around the world join in on a movement to showcase the impact of energy consumption on climate change by switching off their lights.
This event, formally known as Earth Hour, took place on March 27, 2021 from 8:30PM – 9:30PM local time.
Although I have heard of Earth Hour for years, this year was my first year celebrating! At exactly 8:30PM, I switched off the lights in my house, unplugged non-essentials, and lit a candle. My son was already doing a great job celebrating Earth Hour, sleeping soundly in his room with no lights. My husband, on the other hand, was a little harder to convince as he was insistent on keeping his laptop open to continue watching the UFC fight. Even still, we were able to celebrate the event and create our own little space of climate change advocacy!
Here are three things I realized during Earth Hour.
1. I’m highly dependent on electricity
Like most people, my phone is always within reach. During Earth Hour I made it a point to set an alarm for 9:30PM and then put my phone away to prevent the temptation of using it.
During this hour, I believe I reached for my phone (or thought about my phone) at least 100 times! I couldn’t even believe myself. I had intentionally put my phone away but was still subconsciously thinking about it!
In addition, my husband’s need to keep watching the UFC fight on his laptop also highlighted how dependent we are on technology.
Technology is not only a convenience for us, it is also our means of entertainment.
2. My family leaves a lot of items plugged in that we’re not using
Right before 8:30, I did a quick tour around the house and unplugged all non-essential items. This included the coffee pot, our TVs, the vacuum cleaner charger, phone chargers, and other small appliances.
I never realized how many things we keep plugged in that we don’t use often! This is important because even when not in use, items plugged in still consume energy and waste electricity.
I have every intention to be more mindful of this in the future and keep more items unplugged when not in use.
3.Unplugging is therapeutic
After getting over the initial emptiness of sitting in the dark, I started to realize that my mind was running freely. I didn’t have anything distracting me or pulling my attention. I ended up shuffling through my drawers to find a notebook and writing down the thoughts I was having.
I journaled about my Earth Hour experience (hence this blog), wrote out my to-do list for the rest of the weekend, and even got started on a grocery list!
Who knew an hour in the dark could be so productive?
In addition to the productivity, I was able to sit in the silence (minus the whispered UFC commentary from my husband’s laptop) and really enjoy the experience.
Earth Hour Results
I’ve decided Earth Hour will be an annual celebration for me and my family! Next year I may incorporate something fun like a dinner in the dark or a board game with candlelight.
Earth Hour 2021 Broke Records! Here is a summary:
Next year Earth Hour will be on Saturday, March 26 at 8:30PM, your local time. Learn more on their website here!