10 Unplugged Activities You Can Do at Home

hanging out for one hour without lights with Renzie.

I’ve decided to live blog the Earth Hour event from home.  So here I am in the dark, with my trusty notebook, just hammering away at the minuscule keyboard in almost complete darkness, putting my thoughts into text.

I think we should spend more time away from our TVs, PCs and appliances.  If anything, this whole one-hour-without-power has made me realize that this doesn’t have to be a once-a-year affair.

In fact, an entire 60 minutes without power is a good thing: a back-to-basics retreat of sorts, right in the comfort of your own home.  All while saving some energy, and getting some things done, away from the PC, TV, XBox, Wii, DVD player, or whatever else that’s usually switched on.

Since I’m live-blogging on Earth Hour, you’ll probably be reading this post after Earth Hour is done.

Earth Hour is great, sure.  But it can be made even better if you can take that to the next level: instead of powering down for an hour just once a year, why not do so once a month?  Or if you can, once a week, or even once a day?

Here are a few things you can do unplugged- some personal recommendations: 10 things you can do with the lights off, on Earth Hour.

1.  Break out the musical instruments.  This would be a great time to brush up on some guitar or piano.  Learn a new piece and impress your friends- and yourself!

2.  Cook.  At least get some prep work done: season and marinade some meats for grilling, get some dough done for a batch of bread (or cookies!), or prepare your sandwich ingredients for the whole week.

3.  Read.  A good book in a comfy chair, by candlelight always sounds like an excellent idea to me.

4.  Get some chores done.  You can use these 60 minutes to sort out the laundry, clean out a closet, or to just tidy up a few rooms.  Coz your house isn’t going to clean itself up😀

5.  Break out the bike.  Go ahead and take a ride around the neighborhood.  Check your lights and reflectors before you do so- it’s gonna be dark out there.  And strap on that helmet before you go!

6.  Take a nap.  How’s that for powering down?  Only if you feel like it, I’d say.  Otherwise, you might want to do something more productive.

7.  Trip out on some sounds.  Fill your player beforehand with some new tuneage and old favorites.  Whichever you’d like to soak up on, it’s always a good way to chill.

8.  Stargaze.  Take out a comfy seat and just hang by the porch and check out the night skies.  Doodle along with a sketch pad, or blog away with a notebook.  The open air would be great for a change (hmm. Looks like I should have done that from the very beginning, earlier on.  Oh well…)

9.  Spend time with your animal companion.  I’m talking about something special for you and your pet: an extended walk, perhaps, or a full 60 minutes worth of play, or use that time to put together a whole new play area for your doggie or kittie.

10.  Gather the family (or your friends, or loved ones) together, and just talk. It’s a great way to catch up, exchange stories, or plan something together.  Family- AND environment-friendly at the same time.

How did you spend your Earth Hour this year?

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From the Facebook page of our good friends over at 24/7 Nocturnal Navigator:

With just nine days to go before the world switches off for Earth Hour 2009, WWF-Philippines calls on the social networking community to spread the Earth Hour message through e-groups, blogs, web videos and texts.

“The commitments of support grow with each day. We urge everyone to spread the word and join millions throughout the world by switching-off lights from 8:30 to 9:30pm on Saturday night, 28 March. This is our chance to show the world what our Bayanihan spirit can do, for only when we act as one will Earth Hour be successful,” says Earth Hour National Director Yeb Saño.

Earth Hour is a massive social movement aimed to mobilize action against climate change through the simple act of turning off lights.

Launched in Australia on 31 March 2007, Earth Hour moved over two million people and 2100 businesses in Sydney to turn off their lights for 60 minutes — hence the movement’s logo. This captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world, giving rise to Earth Hour 2008 — where 50 million people in 370 cities followed suit. New York’s Times Square, Rome’s Coliseum and even the remote Casey Station in Antarctica plunged into darkness.

The Philippines was the first Southeast Asian nation to pledge support. Its flagship cities of Pasay, Manila, Parañaque and Makati observed a switch-off ceremony and enveloped the entire Roxas Boulevard seaside strip in symbolic darkness. Popular landmarks such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Mall of Asia were blanketed in darkness. Lights-out activities were instigated by a million Filipinos in over 50 major towns and cities across the nation.

“Earth Hour 2008 remains the country’s largest environmental action. Last year, total power savings amounted to 80MWh. 56MWh was saved in Luzon alone — equivalent to shutting down a coal-fired power plant for one hour. More important than the power we saved was the awareness and positive action generated. This year, Earth Hour 2009 hopes to inspire at least 10 million Filipinos to unite and act for the environment,” explains Saño.

Earth Hour is an initiative of WWF, the Department of Energy, Green Army Network and SWITCH movement. Over a hundred corporations, schools, public and private organizations have now pledged support. The roster of supporters grows by the hour.

The Department of Energy has given its full backing for the movement. “This is a cause that should unite us as Filipinos and as citizens of the world,” declares DOE Secretary Angelo Reyes.

Adds WWF-Vice Chairman and CEO Lory Tan, “Will Earth Hour alone stop climate change? No. But it is a statement that we will not go down without a fight.”

The global aim of Earth Hour is to secure the participation of one billion people in 1000 cities globally. Already over 1500 cities in 80 countries including the United States, China, Russia and India have signed on.

“It is hoped that this global gesture will send a clear message for world leaders to take strong and decisive action against climate change,” explains Saño. Top leaders will meet in Copenhagen this coming December to craft a post-Kyoto policy for tackling the world’s mounting problems on climate change. “The strength of our message ultimately depends on how many Filipinos will join in.”

Cheers, everyone!

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