Saturday, March 29, 2008

60 things to do during Earth Hour

  1. Start early. Switch off before the sun sets and soak up the twilight.
  2. Go for a walk and see what the neighbours have switched off.
  3. Or turn on all the lights in every room and see how long it takes before someone knocks on your door.
  4. At which point, you can host an Earth Hour Party: BYO (beeswax!) candle and no plastic cups.
  5. One word: Fondue! You get a great meal, no electricity required.
  6. Chill your wine outside.
  7. Hand-wash your delicates.
  8. Harness the combined romance of candlelight and eco-chivalry to pop the question.
  9. Dig out your clarinet, ocarina or guitar for an acoustic music night. Practise without looking at your hands.
  10. Debate whether one hour can trigger social change.
  11. Or just whistle in the dark.
  12. Recite memorized poetry.
  13. Avoid using anything that requires power. Including batteries.
  14. Throw an indoor marshmallow roast (use shish-kebab skewers, mini-marshmallows and a tea light).
  15. Go totally 18th-century and play charades by candlelight.
  16. Look for stars in the darker night sky, or moon dance.
  17. Read a book about the environment.
  18. Tell ghost stories. Go down to the basement in a negligee to investigate dark spooky corners.
  19. Build a fort out of cushions and blankets (don't take candles inside!).
  20. Bust out the Ouija board, host a séance.
  21. Dig out your Dungeons and Dragons dice for an atmospheric apocalyptic game.
  22. Don't be lame and watch television. You're only going to miss the Habs build a 4-0 lead over the Leafs.
  23. Prove to yourself that, yes, you can go 60 minutes without updating your Facebook status.
  24. Don't forget fitness. Practise naked yoga.
  25. Conserve water. Share a bath.
  26. Or go to bed early. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.
  27. Consider getting some help if the results of No. 26 only took one minute.
  28. Spin a globe to find your next holiday destination.
  29. Introduce "Avant-garde Art in the Dark" hour (with a large drop sheet to catch spills).
  30. Reject the idea, string yourself in Xmas lights, and walk around as a glowing sculpture.
  31. If it's warm, sit on the steps chatting to passersby and comparing notes on living green.
  32. Or say to your neighbour, "Dude, this is so Amish."
  33. Make streetlight shadow puppets (yes, the streetlights stay on, for safety).
  34. Install power bars with on-off switches so you can turn all electricals off at the source when not in use.
  35. Designate a weekly "no power hour" for your home.
  36. Calculate your annual gas bills. Gasp.
  37. Calculate your annual hydro bills. Gasp again. Plan ways to reduce your gas and hydro use.
  38. Curse the name of Thomas Edison and damn his tungsten-stained soul to hell.
  39. Play dress-up in the dark. Don't wear colour-co-ordinated clothes.
  40. If going out, do your makeup by candlelight. It's harder than it seems. Pretend it's eighties punk.
  41. Boycott venues that are still switched on.
  42. Marvel at an unlit Honest Ed's. Worry about the semi-lit airport.
  43. Join a lantern walk in Woodbridge.
  44. Catch the train south to watch Niagara Falls go dark for the first time since 2003.
  45. Boogie for the planet at the free acoustic concert featuring Nelly Furtado at Nathan Phillips Square.
  46. Play with sparklers. Take long-exposure photos of your efforts.
  47. Sit in a drumming circle around a candlelit shrine to David Suzuki.
  48. Wonder if, at that moment, Parisians are ashamed of their city's nickname.
  49. Then laugh at the thought.
  50. Soften your ice cream.
  51. Pretend you're in Haiti.
  52. Join glow-stick soccer games at the Hangar in Downsview Park.
  53. Master your origami skills.
  54. Invite your neighbours over for a game of Texas Hold 'em. Or scour your home for extraneous packaging you're holding onto and think of ways to reduce it.
  55. Put teabag compresses on your eyes.
  56. Take your date somewhere discreet and make out.
  57. Get busy (yes, again!) and procreate the next generation of resource-sucking bipeds.
  58. Start a pool on whether there will be a baby spike in nine months.
  59. Hark for sounds of fire engines (see: candle use).
  60. Why spoil the fun? Leave the lights out for the rest of the night.

    Saturday’s Globe and Mail
    March 29, 2008

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