I learned an ingenious thing from my friend and fellow blogger Erica at Little Townhouse on the Prairie...that I can write multiple blog posts at once and then schedule them to post at a certain time on a certain day! WooHoo! This may solve all my blogging challenges! See, I LOVE to blog - it is a way of recording the 'goings on' of our family - I hope to transfer these memories into a book format someday (maybe just one of those books you can make on Blurb.com (I won a voucher to make a FREE book recently...yay!) - not necessarily Barnes and Noble...but maybe...who knows?!) - so it is important to me to remember to capture these memories! But I struggle to find time every day to blog. But usually once a week I can carve out a chunk of time to write multiple posts. And how much better is it for my readers to get regular posts rather than 7 or 8 that dump on the same day? I love it! I'm in the midst of writing a number of posts that I'm scheduling for this week...we'll see how this goes! :)
Did you know yesterday was the nation-wide celebration of "Earth Hour"? This was a new concept for me, but I saw it advertised in a number of magazines, on MSN.com, and on TV. It is sponsored by WWF (no, not wrestling...that has 3 W's...I always get that mixed up!). WWF is World Wildlife Federation. WWF's tagline is "WWF's ultimate goal is to build a future where people live in harmony with nature."
The purpose behind Earth Hour is to take an hour to turn off lights and all other electronic equipment possible in the home and spend an hour doing activities together that did not require using electricity. WWF designated the official Earth Hour as from 8:30 to 9:30 PM on Saturday, March 28, 2009. Since our kiddos are in bed by then, our Earth Hour was from 7:00 to 8:00 on 3/28 instead.
While I'm not some super earthy granola momma girl, I do resonate with the importance of taking care of our environments and nature. In the beginning God created us to live in harmony with nature...and I believe the steps we can take to conserve and keep the environment in mind as we go about our lives, the better!
I'm always looking for good tangible ways to teach these truths to our children too, so when I heard about Earth Hour, I thought it would be a great way to talk about being Earth-friendly and conserving energy for the kids too!
I looked online for ideas of activities to do with children in observance of Earth Hour, but came up short. So I resorted to using my own creativity (sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't!). Our Earth Hour looked like this:
6:45 PM - I explained to the kiddos about Earth Hour and we had a discussion about what it meant to save energy. We had a discussion about what uses energy and how some appliances still use energy even when they are turned off! We also talked about how leaving things plugged into the wall that aren't being used (ie - phone and camera chargers) also wastes energy).
7:00 PM - The children did an Electricty Saving Scavenger Hunt through the house. The goal was to find anything that was using energy that didn't need to (ie - lights, chargers, empty air fresheners, items that were turned on but not in use like radios, DVD players, etc). I confess that shortly before starting I went through the house and turned on a few extra things to make the game a bit more fun. The kids loved it! While they went through the house I finished using the last bit of energy before we started our hour - warming up leftovers for dinner.
7:15 PM - To make dinner a bit more fun we spread a tablecloth out on the living room floor, lit a bunch of taper candles and set out our plates and food. Dinner was a lesson in conserving and not wasting too - we warmed up all the eligible leftovers in the fridge and got to help ourselves to what we wanted. The selection included pasta bake, meatloaf, pizza, pancakes and corn on the cob! The kids (and parents!) really enjoyed our Earth Hour dinner!
7:45 PM - It was starting to get darker outside now. We decided to go on a walk around our neighborhood and during our walk to pick up any garbage we saw along the way. The kids LOVED this! We talked about how this was another way to be friendly to the Earth - by cleaning up garbage that wasn't in a trash can - even if we didn't throw the garbage on the ground to begin with...and then discussed how we should make sure that we never throw our own garbage on the ground!
8:15 PM - We got back home after our walk - with a little grocery size bag FILLED with garbage that had been picked up along the way. Going inside we were able to turn on lights again - but even so, the children showed to be more diligent in only turning on lights in rooms they were in, and turning them off again when they left.
Here are some photos and a video (if I can get it to load) from our Earth Hour fun! I gotta get upstairs and check out the Lego competition that just began between Juancho and his Dad!