Make a difference one Earth Hour at a time

Earth Hour is about more than just turning off the lights for one hour. It’s about making the planet a better one, yet the event remains unknown to many.

Earth Hour, now approaching its fifth year, is a one-hour global call to action that encourages individuals, community groups and businesses to turn off the lights for an hour to show that one person can make a difference against climate change. This year’s event is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on March 31.

According to an impromptu Facebook poll conducted by Direct Energy in March, only 3 percent of those polled said they were very familiar with the event. About 19 percent said they were somewhat familiar while 76 percent of people said they were not familiar with Earth Hour.

But what do people do for an hour without electronics – smart phone, television or computer?

If you want total darkness, perhaps sitting on the porch or patio sharing stories is the perfect pastime. If the weather permits, try lying out in the yard looking at the stars in the sky.

Lighting some candles adds a romantic, soft glow to any activity and might prevent you from bumping into furniture and getting hurt. If you’re a musician, give a recital to show off your skills. Otherwise, sing some favorite songs to ease people’s moods, particularly those afraid of the dark.

Nothing beats a great story when the lights are low. The daring might opt for ghost stories. Share highlights of your week with the rest of the family and hear theirs. If stories are lacking, plan a great family trip during lights out by brainstorming possible destinations or activities.

Other suggestions are lighting the fireplace and roasting marshmallows; building a fort out of blankets; exploring the yard or home with flashlights; or walking around the neighborhood.

For more information on the event, visit www.EarthHour.org.

Thanks Flickr user Jah~.