Last night was our second year participating in Earth Hour as a family. I get pretty excited about this event and maybe I even go a little overboard. I don't just have us turn out our lights, I have us turn off our TVs, our computers, iPods and iPhones. It all goes off for an hour. I light candles in our family room and for one hour, our only entertainment is conversation.
Last year I kind of sprung it on everyone and they didn't know what to expect. This year they saw me coming. My younger son was excited and totally on board. My husband and older son were less enthused. For my husband it meant putting off finishing the taxes and having to turn off our outside lights that work on a timer. For my older son, it simply meant no TV, but that feels like a pretty big sacrifice to him I guess.
Wes, my youngest, and I performed the countdown to 8:30pm. "Ten, nine, eight, seven, six... Earth Hour!" With that we all claimed our favorite spots on the couch to hang out for an hour. The first five minutes were spent with me and Wes giggling about silly things and Jens, my oldest, and my husband protesting. I knew we needed distraction, so I started us off on a game.
I told everyone that we would each ask one question and we would all have to answer. For example, my husband asked what each of us would do with our time if all of our responsibilities didn't exist. The kids started really getting into it. We all did. After that game, we played "Who Am I?" One person picks anything and the rest have to ask questions to figure out what that person is.
Time passed quickly and before we knew it, the clock was showing 9:30. Jens, my biggest objector to Earth Hour participation, wouldn't let us leave. He was having too much fun and wanted one more round of gaming. Afterward, he had as much fun turning the lights on and making us all moan as our eyes painfully adjusted.
I know the official Earth Hour was yesterday, but if you missed it, there's no reason you can't have your own earth hour with your family or with friends. I left our family room last night thinking we should do this more often. I love what we learn about each other and I hope as a parent I am not only making a memory, but setting an example that my kids will pass on to their own families someday.