On Saturday I wrote about the many reasons our family participated in Earth Hour. What I didn’t mention was how enjoyable our time was last year.
During Earth Hour 2008, we ate a homemade dinner by candlelight, we watched the stars, and we talked as we sipped local wine. Our hour turned into an hour and a half. It was peaceful, relaxing, and we were saving power. And we were doing it along with millions of other people. In fact, we had such an amazing time that we continued to do this once a week for two months afterward!
Just as our life and lifestyle here in Seattle has been incredibly different from our life in the country, so was our Earth Hour this year: we turned out our lights and then took Ellis for a stroll through the neighborhood, checking out all the lights that had gone out for the event.
We can see the Space Needle from our street corner, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it dark before. It was intriguing to see. There’s an expensive restaurant at the top, and it, too, had it’s lights turned off – we could see tables lit by candlelight alone. Several downtown buildings also turned off their exterior lights. Though truthfully, it wasn’t as dramatic as I’d expected.
Then we walked through the business streets of our neighborhood, to see if we could see evidence of Earth Hour – we envisioned apartment buildings darkened, restaurant lights dimmed, people huddled indoors by candlelight… But we didn’t see a single sign of the event during our entire hour-long walk.
That was a bit difficult for me to take. Millions and millions of people are taking part, but here in a very environmentally-friendly city, in a particularly aware neighborhood, there was very little evidence it was taking place.
This reminds me of the feelings I have some days, where I leave my home and enter a world where people don’t care very much about their energy usage, their waste, their spending, nor the climate as a whole.
Do you ever feel isolated in your actions, in the changes you’re making in your lifestyle?
We have found solace in our community here on the internet, we have lifted each other’s spirits, we have all pushed one another harder to do more, and we are a wonderful community. So let’s keep bringing people into our world: the one that cares, the one that is mindful, the one that is trying to make a difference, big or small.
Let’s make our community bigger and stronger. And let’s help it spread throughout our neighborhoods!
How? It’s a good question, and I think it’s answered differently for each of us. We are all different, living in unique places and having unique talents. So let’s use each of our talents to bridge awareness and spark action!
I’ve written some about how to build and strengthen communities, and I will continue to write more about this. I would love any ideas you all have – as well as any questions we might be able to help answer.
So… I walked, fretted, pondered, and looked for solutions during Earth Hour….
What Did You Do?