Switch off to Reconnect this Earth Hour

This Saturday, 30 March at 8.30PM local time, is Earth Hour where hundreds of millions of people around the world in more than 7,000 cities and over 180 countries will take part by turning the lights out and power off as a symbolic show of solidarity toward this important conservation cause.

I remember being in the heart of Sydney for the first ever Earth hour in 2007. Being there and looking up at the skyline it was remarkable to me how different it looked and how the atmosphere of the night changed when the majority of the office lights went out on that one night. The photos shown in the newspapers the following day didn’t really do the moment justice as we all realised just how much of a difference could be made with some simple changes to our own lifestyle.

Over the ensuing years I have enjoyed partaking in Earth Hour by switching off all electricity in our home at the end of March each year and have enjoyed some unexpected benefits, which I have incorporated more extensively in my day-to-day life beyond Earth Hour itself.

For example, one of the things I noticed during one of the Earth Hours I participated in with my family was how much more our conversation flowed when we were all disconnected from our devices and with no internet to be constantly checking news or sports scores from around the globe. As a result we now do this every weekend, usually in the mornings where we turn all internet off in the household to enjoy each others company and conversation without the constant distractions that our current online world presents.



Similarly, we have also used Earth Hour to come up with fun and engaging activities as a family that show you don’t need electricity or internet on to have fun among family and friends. Why not try one of the below activities for yourself or host an Earth Hour activity this Saturday night. 

Candlelit dinner

There's something extra special about eating by candlelight that also encourages conversation – just be sure to be done with the oven before you need to switch the power off!

Go outside for some star gazing

This was one of the main memories I have from 2007 as I had never bothered to notice the stars in the city of Sydney before but without the normal lighting of nearby offices and buildings I was able to do take advantage of a beautiful Sydney nightline. Wherever you may be across Australia, you should try and do something similar while the lights are out on March 30th

Play flashlight tag

Don't want to sit still? Play a fun round of flashlight tag or hide and go seek in the dark.  

Go back to basics

This can include dusting off some old fashioned board-games like scrabble, pictionary or cluedo,

Hold a taste guessing competition in the dark

This is a particularly enjoyable activity where people try to guess what they’re eating, its a great mindfulness activity - throw something spicy in for a bit of fun and a laugh as well. 

Tell stories around a campfire

There’s something dreamy about sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows, sipping hot chocolate and swapping stories – kids feel it too. If a fire isn’t possible, huddle around a big torch or lantern and heat up the marshmallows using a candle. You’ll find the magic is found in hearing and telling stories with no distractions.

Host an energy efficient potluck

Hold a potluck and invite your guests to bring a dish that requires no heat at all.

Any of these events can be held with family or a group of friends and will help you get the best experience from earth hour while also reminding ourselves that disconnecting from the electrical or online world every now and again definitely has its benefits.

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