We counted down… we turned ‘em off… WE LOVED IT!!!
Our kids were so excited that we were participating in Earth Hour that they ran around the house screaming the minutes until the lights went off. We watched footage from around the globe as landmarks went dark and each and every time our kids squealed “Keeewl!” I was ‘Twittering away’ up until the last moment and even had an exchange with Diddy (how crazy is THAT?!?) when he thought it started at 8:00. (He apologized and corrected himself to his 300K+ followers!)
At the risk of sounding cheesy, it was really heartwarming to be a part of something that was embraced by such diverse cultures around the world. Nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries around the globe participated – from Sydney to Jakarta, Singapore to Beijing, New Dehli to Moscow, Cairo to Athens, Stockholm to Rome, Paris to London, and NYC to Las Vegas and LA – the lights went to black in each of our time zones, but we all celebrated our incredible bond and let our voices be heard. I was truly moved.
Okay, enough of the mushies… but sincerely, we had a great time being a part of this worldwide “vote” against global warming. Since we were blacked out, the kids did get a little FREAKED out so we let them have flashlights (with rechargeable batteries, of course!). We spent the hour cheering for Earth Hour, making silly shadows in the illumination of the flashlights, and talking about global warming, being “environmental” and why we were participating in the event. Our daughter was a little disheartened by the story of polar bears because, as she put it, “Polar bears are my second-most favorite animal in the whole world, Mom!” but I think it really drove home the effects of global warming and gave her a clearer understanding.
We were thrilled to look toward downtown Cleveland (that we can clearly see from the back of our house) and see that some of the skyline had gone dark (kudos, Cleveland!). We even moved from room to room in our house to see how cool the darkness could be but also felt grateful that, on a “regular” night, we are lucky enough to turn on lights when we need them. We even took time out to read a story from the Barefoot Book of Earth Tales (giveaway still open!) by flashlight, while snuggling on our bed!
On a side note (as Recycling/Environmental Program Chairman at our daughter’s school) I sent out an invitation to participate in Earth Hour to all 418 students. They participate, sign the pledge to say that they turned out the lights and can win prizes for doing so. I’m so excited to see how many of them joined us!
Overall, I think it was a wonderful night and an amazing symbol that we are all unified in our concerns for this wonderful planet we share.
After the lights were turned back on, I think our son summed it up best by saying “That was the best “Errf Hour” in my whole life, ever!” Yes, sweetie, it certainly was.