It has been 7 years since WWF organized Earth Hour, which has evolved into a successful annual global event on the last Saturday of March to raise awareness for the planet by turning off lights for an hour or more starting at 8:30PM in each local time zone. As March 29th fast approaches, plans are being made worldwide for celebrations both large and small – http://www.earthhour.org/earth-hour-around-world and there are many ways you can still have fun at home besides just sitting in the dark for an hour.
With all the new technology, we have become so reliant on doing everything via a smart phone, computer, or tablet including games. We should take this opportunity to turn all that technology off, light a beeswax or soy based candle for a carbon neutral option http://www.earthhour.org/celebrating-earth-hour and reintroduce ourselves to some good old fashion classic board games that we already have like Monopoly or better yet, Clue. Who knows? We may end up enjoying the simplicity and make this a monthly event.
If you want to jazz it up further, imagine how much fun hosting a murder mystery event would be. There are many different themes you can choose from so you can combine game, intrigue, and even theater where everyone is part of the cast and the dimmed lighting is an added bonus creating an atmosphere of danger for your “murder”. If your guests have not eaten, consider creating a Lethal Luau.
Speaking of food, we all have to eat dinner so it would not be creating extra waste to have friends over for a potluck. Dining in the dark is a recent dining trend made popular in Europe and available in the U.S. as well. What others are willing to pay $99 per person to dine at Opaque http://www.darkdining.com/index_main.php, you can recreate that experience of heightening your other senses (taste, smell, touch, and hearing) through food in the comfort of your own home. Just make sure that everyone is seated, food plated, and everyone is aware of where their wine glasses are before turning off the flashlight since you will not have the benefit of their waiters. To further enhance the experience, blind taste test a bottle or two of wine with your dinner.
If you have already eaten or after eating, enjoy some time outside. With all the light pollution in the cities and suburbs these days, we are not fortunate enough to really experience stargazing to the fullest. We should take advantage of Earth Hour, weather permitting of course, to grab a chair in our backyard and just look up. Hopefully with less light pollution and if someone is very familiar with the night sky, it can be educational as well as fun for everyone. The great part is time will fly by and before you know it, you just turned Earth Hour into Earth Evening.