By Sarah Jost
This Saturday at 8:30pm local time, the planet celebrates its 3rd annual Earth Hour. In 2007, 2.2 million homes and businesses in Sydney, Australia kicked off the first ever Earth Hour, followed by 50 million people in 35 countries in 2008, and almost 1 billion people in over 4, 000 cities in 88 countries in 2009.
Every year, the world emits more than 27 billion tons of CO2 through transportation, electricity use, and deforestation. Please join the Urchins in giving one hour of your Saturday to a global movement (in addition to Urchinism, of course) that can show lawmakers and politicians how many people care about this issue. Tomorrow at 8:30pm, turn off your lights, computers, and tvs and show that CO2 who’s boss! Read a book, write a letter, play capture the flag…there’s a lot you can do in the dark.
To provide some inspiration, here’s what the Urchins are doing this Earth Hour:
Margaret - I did Earth Hour as a kid. Actually, it was Earth Hour every night. I dressed in “pioneer” clothing, forced my mother to turn off all the electricity, and light candles. This sounds creepy…. All I wanted was to live in the Wild West (and not College Station, TX.) Now, I really do live in the West! John Wayne’s The Cowboys was filmed here, you know. So, this Saturday, at age twenty-four, though not attired in buckskin and moccasins, I will light the kerosene lantern, eat grits and swig from the jug. Who says symbolic gestures can’t be fun?
Sarah - This Saturday night, I’ll be attending a candlelit poker party in a barn (again, Only in Vermont.) As you may remember from a recent installment of You Know You’re an Urchin When…, if it ain’t themed, it’s not a party. In an attempt to spell out “poker” throughout the course of this party series, Saturday’s theme will be the letter “o.” To bring Earth Hour into the mix, my partner in crime (if saving the planet is a crime) Kindra and I will be dressed as “on” and “off” respectively, to represent what we will be doing to electricity that night! I’m also bringing octagonal sandwiches, but that’s besides the point.
Geo – I’m excited about this year’s Earth Hour because, believe it or not, it’ll be my first (having completely forgot about it last year.) I see this peaceful hour as a great way to catch up on what I try to do best: write and read. I’ve fallen behind on both this past month, having spent way too much time with other people. I’ve got about a page and a half of my notebook left, surely to be finished by Saturday. What better time to start a fresh notebook than on Earth Hour. I’ll give Claude (my computer) the night off. I could also read by candlelight. No one in my house owns a lighter, and I’ve never been good at striking matches. I suppose half the challenge is getting the candles lit. Here’s to hoping the second half of the challenge won’t be putting out a house fire.