Earth Hour 2011: It's Time to Nap!

Jeanne Sager

earth hour When I heard Earth Hour was coming up this weekend, I've got to say I was cranky. At first. At first! We just got our schedules back in order after the whole "spring ahead" debacle, and now we have to shut down the house for an entire hour in the middle of a busy weekend just to appease the green gods?

In case you haven't heard, Earth Hour is the WWF's grand plan to put conservation on a global scale by having us all turn off our lights at the same time. Which sounds stressful, doesn't it? Like we owe it to the whole world to run around the house flipping switches?

Then I started thinking about it: another busy weekend after another busy week at work. If you've got kids or, heck, you breathe, you know that weekends lost their relaxing "Calgon, take me away" attitude some time in the last century. Now they're all hustle, bustle, and try to keep up 'cause Monday is coming!

Suddenly, Earth Hour sounds like just what mama needs to turn off the crazy and settle in for a nap. Want to join me? Here's how to get in on the action:

Do nothing.

Really. That's it. From 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in your time zone on Saturday, March 26, turn off every non-essential electronic item in your household. Your fridge can stay on, but lighting in particular should go off. Then lay back and take a nap. (Or use the dark to get a little nookie in while the kids are passed out asleep -- also relaxing!)

Don't start getting angsty about that light in your kid's room that they won't LET you turn off and that one on the porch that keeps the raccoons out of your garbage can, blabbity, blabbity, blah, blah ... CALM DOWN! Remember what I said about relaxing? It's all voluntary. And the one hour's energy savings isn't meant to actually save the planet anyway -- estimates of the amount of coal and oil burned in the power surge when everyone starts things back up again essentially negate the hour of savings.

So what's the point? According to the WWF, which kicked off the program in Australia in 2007, this is all about awareness:

By switching off your lights for Earth Hour you are acknowledging and celebrating your commitment to do something more for the planet that goes beyond the hour.

So one hour. That's it. And you can fall asleep thinking about what a great person you are and how great it is to be part of a global community. Can Earth Hour start now? Mama needs a nap.

Will you be turning off for Earth Hour? Have you done it before?


Image via Orange Steeler/Flickr

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