The Earth Hour: Every Day

[Originally posted in the "about" page of our Facebook Page]


We have been participating with the Earth Hour since it was started and when it was still relatively unknown years ago. Since the Earth Hour of April 2012, our family has been experimenting and now implementing our own version.  We call it the Earth Hour: Every Day.  It is our own way of helping the planet somehow (among the other little things we have been doing along the way).  Simply put, instead of having an Earth Hour (where you turn off lights for just one hour in one day of the year) once a year, we now do it daily.

Here is how we do it:

1. We do it at a random hour between 7:00PM to 12MN: those times are the most “electrically active” period in our household where everybody is doing something. It does not make sense during the day time when someone is usually out of the house or after midnight when we are asleep anyway.

2. It is not a fixed—it is a movable hour during the time frame listed above. We give concessions to homework (schoolwork/assignments) that needs to be done (which usually involve having to chat online with classmates) and, yeah, an occasional TV show to die for.

3. It has to be after 7:00PM to allow the house help to finish up after dinner.

4. It is not absolute; we do leave the light on in the driveway for security and an electric fan (especially during summer) in one room where we all hang out during that hour.  However, unlike The Earth Hour which turns off only the lights, we turn off virtually everything (except for those mentioned above).

5. It is not oppressive because we allow ourselves to skip a day to make an exception for:
a. Visitors
b. Homeworks or school projects that are a matter of life and death
c. If we come home late (which means that in that chunk of time both computers, the television and an air conditioner is turned off anyway)

What do we do during our daily Earth Hour?

1. Nothing

2. Sleep (but usually interrupted because we have to plug in some key appliances anyway; i.e., the refrigerator)

3. Have snack by candle light.

4. Talk. Yeah, there is such a thing. Takes us away from Facebook or whatever online venues there are out there to actually talk to real persons in the same house. What do we talk about?
a. Nothing
b. Something—not necessarily meaningful
c. Personal stuff (feelings, love life or the lack of it)
d. Faith (and yeah, we do get to pray…but that is because we are Christians; substitute your own ritual if you belong to another religious persuasion)

What do we get out of it?

1. Apart from the fuzzy feeling that we helped Mother Earth somehow, there is the notion that one hour daily is about 30 hours a month without electricity. That is more than a day! Not only is it a “day” without electricity but a “day” of intensive use (remember we do it during the peak usage hours). We are bad in math but we figure we must have saved something in our electric bill.

2. Shutting down everything daily reminds to kill the vampires: yeah—those little things in the house left plugged in and forgotten. Chargers and stuff that emit those evil stand-by lights the gradually sip off electricity without really doing anything except to be ready to satisfy our desire for instant gratification.

3. When turning on and plugging things again, we realize what is really important. Like, we’re not going to use this particular appliance until two days from now, why even plug it in (especially if it is a vampire)?

4. Real family time (even if we did nothing).

All this is simply to share what we are doing—not wishful thinking: we are actually doing it already. Do we hope to start a movement? Sure why not. But we are not into leading it or getting attention or credit or collecting “LIKEs”…we are simply into doing it.

So please do not bother pressing “LIKE” (remember this was for Facebook) for the sake of “liking” this page—that does not do anything, it will not help the environment, it will not help you save on electricity or help your family bond. Only press “LIKE” if you are actually doing this or something uniquely your own to help the environment.