The point of this exercise was to go green from 8:30 to 9:30 by turning off lights and...well, I'm not exactly sure what else. Eat organic food? Write with a pencil? Take a walk? To be honest, I didn't do much research on the topic, so we just stuck to the basics and turned off all our lights and unplugged gadgets not in use. Of course, our house was immediately plunged into darkness, and I hadn't had the foresight to pick up the clutter beforehand. (The first "thud" I heard was fortunately followed by laughter-- but it could have gone either way.)
This self-induced chaos produced a multitude of giggles (from the children) and a few grumbles (from parents who discovered they own only two candles). At first we had fun making shadow puppets on the wall and guessing what the creations were (and finding out none of us have any skill in this department whatsoever-- each shadow blob bearing a striking resemblance to a mutated bunny). But the fun quickly deteriorated into bitterness and boredom.
It became pretty apparent that we had not adequately prepared for Earth Hour. Heck, I had thought it would be a piece of cake! I am so naive. Besides the fact that there was a sad lack of environmentally friendly lighting (a.k.a. candles), we'd forgotten to get the kids ready for bed prior to our foray into archaic living. At first they were highly amused at getting undressed and dressed in the dark. They made quite a dramatic event of it, in fact. I lost count of how many times LM deliberately ran his head into chairs, benches, tables...I don't think he missed a single piece of furniture, actually. But when we sent them to the basement to brush their teeth (with flashlights-- because candles seemed...like a bad idea) we soon heard a chorus of bawling. I rushed downstairs thinking that one of them had stepped on something sharp or the like, but there was no such crisis. They were, however, terrified of a monster they were certain was lurking in the bathroom with them. Upon realizing this, I gathered the two teary children in my arms (suppressing my laughter) and assured them there was no such monster, and that Earth Hour could wait for another time (like, when we have the benefit of sunshine). On went the lights, but that didn't end the fiasco.
They were pretty rattled. They begged to sleep with us (I abhor having them in my bed-- think of having feet rammed into your mouth at 1:00 in the morning) so instead we escorted them downstairs with all the smiles and assurances we could muster up. And after much ado we finally agreed to let them sleep together in LM's twin bed (why they didn't opt for Ruby's full bed is beyond me). Oh, and there are lights on all over the place right now-- at their insistence.
So, I guess our Earth Half-Hour was a bit of a flop. (Especially because of all the extra energy we're consuming right now in order to cure the terror the experience created.) It would be terribly ironic if our kids grew up to be raging energy consumers with carbon footprints the size of Sasquatch because of the trauma they experienced tonight. All I can say is: oh well, we tried. At least there's nothing scary about recycling. At least, I don't think there is....