Credit: Hilary Henegar

Get sexy, play games, share food and reflect this Earth Hour—plus 17 other ways to spend an hour in the dark


On Saturday, March 26, 2011, 8:30 to 9:30pm, homes, buildings and landmarks around Vancouver will go dark as part of a global event to remind us all to use less electricity.


Earth Hour 2010 reached 1.3 billion people, with a record 128 nations signing on, making it the largest voluntary action ever witnessed.


Earth Hour creators World Wildlife Fund report Canada is one of the top 10 countries contributing to global climate change, which means any actions we do here to mitigate our energy consumption and waste can have a big impact. 


Now in its fifth year, Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia, and has since spread around the globe.


In 2010, energy consumption for that hour dropped 1.4 percent province wide, with Burns Lake, BC, reducing its consumption by a whopping 7 percent. According to BC Hydro's Team Power Smart, “If British Columbians implemented the same conservation measures (as they did in 2010) for just one hour every evening, the combined savings would be enough to power close to 2,200 homes for an entire year."


We can do better than that...

21 things to do in the dark


1. Get romantic with your favourite environmentalist.


2. Play poker by candlelight. Or in the dark.


3. Do yoga or tai chi.


4. Hold a séance. Pull out the Ouija board and invoke the spirit of Jacques Cousteau.


5. Think. Ponder the significance of light, and its absence, to human civilization.


6. Go for a run or a walk with a friend or pet. Count how many houses have all the lights off.


7. Invite all the best storytellers you know over for an Earth Hour party; the best story wins a case of local brew.


8. Catch up on your sleep—go to bed really early.


9. Take a bath lined with candles; consider why you don’t do this more often.


10. Be a kid. Play a game like Hide-and-Go-Seek, Sardines, Telephone or Tag in the dark with your favourite little (or big) people.


11. Have an Earth Hour potluck, but take it one further: every dish must be served without heat or power. Tell everyone to bring their own candle, too.


12. Journal or write a letter by candlelight.


13. Have a wine-tasting party. Serve all the wine—both red and white—at room temperature and see who can guess which is which.


14. Make music. Sing your heart out. Play bongos or guitar. Hold a drum circle.


15. Have a really good conversation with someone who’s usually attached to their iPhone or Blackberry.


16. Take a kid snipe-hunting. They’ll never forget it.


17. Tell jokes. Lots of them.


18. Have a candlelight dinner. Invite your neighbours to join.


19. Give yourself a homemade facial, put on some music, then sit back and relax.


20. Stargaze.


21. Call someone. Call your best friend from high school. Call your aunt. Call your MLA. While you’re reconnecting, remind the person on the other end of the line about Earth Hour.


What will you do for Earth Hour?

[Originally published 12 Mar 2009; updated: 24 Mar 2011]