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Earth Power Hour 2010

(Because nature is my drug)

Despite a lot of negative fuss in the media, Earth Hour hit a positive note for me this year. It began that morning, as hubby David and I walked our dog Juno along Lake Simcoe still in thaw. We not only enjoyed the cool spring air and all the other dog walkers and joggers, but we were serenaded by the Lake. Loud whale-like noises echoed across its shores. We had never heard anything like it, these haunting sounds that seem to moan to us as we took our hour stroll. Even Juno kept sniffing the air from the Lake, searching for the source of this unidentifiable sound, like he expected some big creature to burst through the ice and hover high above us.

Ok. So my imagination is running on a bit. But we experienced and appreciated one of those wondrous moments in nature. And how fitting since it occurred on Earth Hour day! Afterwards, we headed to the local cafe bustling with patrons and energy and we downed our hot drinks marveling over what we had just experienced. We chatted about it with others and then returned home on a high.

Later that night on the countdown to Earth Hour, like many families, we shut off most lights, PCs, games, TVs, and lit dozens of candles and a fire. The boys peered out the windows and reported which neighbours had turned off their lights and which had not. I tried to model tolerance and replied it was not a contest, but secretly hoorayed that the boys felt the importance in what we were doing. After all, Earth Hour aims to create awareness and where better than among the younger generations?

Then, my husband and I and our three children gathered around the coffee table with a flashlight and played Sequence - something we rarely do. We enjoyed ourselves without any bickering or arguing. We simply had a great time. With all the excited squeals and laughing, our Russell Terrier mix Juno came to investigate and decided to join the circle.

So, in one Saturday, we experienced the mysterious wonder of nature and the togetherness and awareness of Earth Hour. Think about it. Not only did this little one hour movement bring our family together, dog included, it brought like-minded nature enthusiasts from around the world together with one purpose: to create awareness of our world, both nature and people. Like a wave from one time zone to the next, families like ours, individuals, businesses, governments, communities from the east to the west, all participated in saving energy and virtually joining hands. That's a big WE!!! And my family was part of it. I'm super proud of that.

And I'm inspired by how far WE can reach today. As much as some like to blame environmental issues on human progress, you can't ignore that even though conscious progress is best, only today's technology -- good and bad -- could propel such a global reaction and commitment to one hour in a year, on a shoestring budget. This one measly hour (out of 8,766) of commitment that does not pay or reward us air miles, connects and focuses people of all ages, race, culture, regions, governments, beliefs, and ambitions for one purpose: to want a better life for our planet and everyone and everything on it. How powerful is that? Man, I love the times we live in!

For me, that one hour saved energy. But most importantly, it connected me to nature, to my family and to the world, which inspires me to shout, "Frankly Scarlett, I give a damn!"

Cool Honk Kong Video

Check out this short video of Hong Kong during Earth Hour. Reminds me of the movie Blade Runner! Wait till the end when all of the lights turn back on. Remember there are over 7 million residents.Hong Kong Earth Hour 2010


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