Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Special Edition: Earth Hour 2012 (Don't Wait Up!)


Hey, guys! It's that time of year again apparently. What am I talking about? Easter? Christmas? New Year's Eve? Nope, nope, nope, all wrong. It's once again time for us  to turn off our light to show our support for the earth. Since the first time I saw its commercial on TV in 2009, I have participated in the Earth Hour event every year without fail. Last year I even managed to persuade my housemates to participate with me -- although rather reluctantly. This year is no exception. Had I not read it on their twitter feed, I would probably have missed it though. So that you guys won't miss, I'm writing about it here.

What Is Earth Hour?


First thing's first. Of course you have to know what Earth Hour is before joining. What it is is a global environmental movement rooting at first in Sydney. What was first a city-movement became then a national revolution which then quick as the rain became one of the biggest global environmental movement of the century. I am extremely proud to say that Indonesia -- my homeland -- is one of the participating country since 2009. At first, it was only the capital city, Jakarta, that participated. But this year, my, oh my, other towns and cities decide to join in on the fun.

How Can You Participate?

Prambanan Temple before Earth Hour
Prambanan Temple during Earth Hour
The best part about this movement is how easy it is to participate. Here's what you need to do: turn off all the lights in your home for an hour during the said time. That's it! You don't have to go to campaigns or only eat veggies and such. Although the actual reason of this event is to trigger eco-friendly fire within each of us. Last year, they added another movement called "Going Beyond The Hour" which invites everyone to save energy and turn off lights more often than just the one hour per year we've been doing for years. Such a simple movement, don't you think? If you don't want to do this, at the very least remember to turn off lights when you're not using it. In the meantime, here's an Earth Hour 2011 video that is still one of my most favourite videos on Youtube. I love the fact that they used Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap since a.) the band came from Australia, which is where this event began and b.) the tune and lyrics of this song are inspiring.

And here is the video that got me reeled into the whole event. I still believe such a campaign is very effective. My family and I decided that year to vote for earth. It was a new level of fun for us.


What Can You Do?

Over the years, I have been spending Earth Hour quite dully, truth be told. The first year, I spent it eating dinner with my family, just talking, no TV, no nothing. The second year -- I'm ashamed to admit -- I watched TV because I was alone with my housekeeper at home. The third year I spent surfing the internet with my housemates and cooking dinner. Well, anyway, here are some ideas I came up with:
  1. Candle-lit Dinner. This is the perfect opportunity to start up a romantic atmosphere between you and your beloved. Since you turn off the light, candle is a way to go. The great part about this is, romantic dinner usually consume a lot of time which means more earth hours for you. Extra eco points! 
  2. Stargazing. For some, this might sound lame. For me, it's a dream. I actually have a little bit of a promise with my lovely to stargaze in the summer once we arrived in Germany. Oh, well, it hasn't happened yet. It is also an opportunity to cherish the little beauties of nature. Besides, those twinkling stars are beautiful, wouldn't you think?
  3. Camp-fire Moment. The dimly-lit atmosphere just reminds me of campfire moment. Sure, you probably don't have to make an actual campfire but you can roast marshmallows in a circle with some friends or tell ghost stories or pick up a guitar and sing in unison. Very old-fashioned and randy. You know what the Japanese would do? They'd lit 100 candles, tell ghost stories and blow a candle for every story. I can't guarantee nothing bad will happen though.
  4. Be Children. You can return to being children with your loved ones. This is what my sister, my cousin and I used to do in the dark: we built a tent out of chairs and bed sheets and live under it. It was really fun until we got to big for the tent. You can pretend you're in a forest or in a castle or an Indian or something. You can also grab some UNO cards or a board game and play away. Trust me, you'd forget that the lights are out.
  5. A Prayer Circle. Here is an option for the religious bunch. You can start a prayer circle. In my house, we usually cook some food, invite some people, sit in a huge circle, say prayers together and chat afterwards. This is what we call hitting two birds with one stone -- although such a horrible metaphor.
  6. Join a Local Earth Hour Event. Earth Hour usually has a local official event in every participating country. Probably not all towns and cities have this event. However, if your town does, you can come by and join in. I've never done this and thinking of doing it this year. So if anyone wants to go to Berlin this weekend, let me know. Oh! You can find out where all the events are held by going to this link.
If you need more inspiration on what to do this Earth Hour, you could try checking out these ideas by squidoo. It will also give you the insights on what is eco-friendly and what is not. I hope all of you participate. Trust me, you won't even realize that an hour has passed and suddenly Earth Hour is over. Have fun this Earth Hour, everyone! Join in on the biggest global movement of the century. A little switch off doesn't hurt anybody. Cheerio!

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