March 23, 2010

Earth Hour: 5 things to do with your family in the dark

by Michele & Lexie

A promotional campaign for Earth Hour on the steps of a bank in Hong Kong. AP Across the world this Saturday, March 27, cities and citizens are shutting off their lights at 8:30pm for one hour in what is known as Earth Hour. Last year nearly 1 billion people (including 80 million Americans and 318 US cities) participated in Earth Hour. Will you help support the cause this year?

Earth Hour started three years ago in Sydney with over 2 million people and businesses turning off their lights. The following year, over 50 million people joined the movement. Famous monuments and structures like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Roman Colosseum, and Sydney's Opera House dimmed their lights in a show of support.

Given that this is a pretty easy task, you might be wondering what to do in the dark for an hour with your family. This is a great opportunity to reconnect and have some good old-fashioned fun! Sure, older kids may grumble and complain, but remind them that's it only an hour and have some treats on hand to help set the tone. Then turn off the lights and unplug appliances!

  • Light some candles and play board games. Whether its Chutes and Ladders or Monopoly, your kids will enjoy the novelty of playing a game in the dark.
  • If you're feeling energetic, and your house is safe without any dangerous corners, you can play flashlight tag.
  • Younger kids always enjoy shadow puppets.
  • Light a fire and have a campout in the living room. You can roast marshmallows and tell not-too-spooky stories!
  • Encourage your neighbors to participate by planning a block party. The kids will love running around after dark with their friends and it will give neighbors a chance to sit back, chat, and munch on some snacks.

No matter what you do in your hour of support, be sure to have a quick conversation about why the lights are off.

Check out the Earth Hour website to learn more about how you can become involved in this event.

Get your family organized and on the same page with Cozi, the free online family organizer.

Michele & Lexie are the Seattle Eastside Examiners

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