It’s that time once again. Time to recognize the effects of light pollution and experience just one hour of darkness. Even though the Earth Hour organizers ask that you turn off the lights at 8:30PM on March 27, 2010,  usually go a step further.

Turn Off All Lights and Electronic Devices for One Hour
We can do this for one hour. It’s really not that hard. Turn off the lights, the TV, the computers, the printers, the DVD player, the game consoles, the cell phones, anything electronic that you can effectively turn off for an hour. Maybe even take the step of flipping off the power strips to block any ghost power consumption. Obviously, I’m not asking you to reach behind the cabinets to unplug the microwave or the timer on the oven – that might be difficult and potentially dangerous. But there’s no harm to be done by switching off for one hour.

What to Do During the Hour
I can think of lots of things to do in the dark. If you’re part of a couple and don’t have kids who are up at that time, do the thing you usually do in the dark. Or, have a romantic candlelight dinner. If you have a family, make it a family game night by candlelight. Throw a party to celebrate the occasion and turn off the lights at 8:30.

Surely at some point you’ve suffered a power outage. My family had them regularly when I was growing up due to a problem with our street’s power pole. We survived just fine for the hours, and once nearly 24 hours, without power. This is no different, except you’re doing it voluntarily.

Just in case you’re tempted to leave the lights or power on so you can see what other people are doing on the news, here’s a video of last year’s festivities so you don’t have to.

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