It is almost upon us, and in fact, will have passed by the time this article is printed. Earth Hour, a global moment of action to acknowledge the heavy toll we put on the planet and the energy we demand from it.
For one hour, people globally turn off their computers, their television sets and their stereos, and get back to basics.
But I feel as though I have stepped into an alternate dimension lately, because other than a passing acknowledgement by council, I have not really heard anyone talk about Earth Hour in Fort St. James.
I think it might have something to do with the fact that this year it falls within Spring Break, with holidays and spring sunshine on people’s minds.
Truthfully, I had almost forgotten about the event completely as I went about my busy life, and only remembered it when I received an invitation to attend the event on Facebook.
I realized I had completely dropped the ball on the whole event.
In past years, I have been a part of light-free parties, where acoustic music was played and raw food was eaten, and only candles lit the partiers faces.
I have celebrated Earth Day camped on the beach or in the woods, with nothing but a small headlamp to power as we cooked dinner over a fire.
These events are fun ways to take a moment to celebrate the simple things, leaving the hectic overstimulation of our urban lives behind. Even in the north, it isn’t like we aren’t urbanized. I might cut and split wood, but I still enjoy all the comforts of modern society, and often with more long haul driving involved.
I think even permanent city-dwellers enjoy the celebration of Earth Hour.
In Calgary, hip restaurants would offer candlelight service on Earth Day, so couples and friends could enjoy some great atmosphere, but still not have to cook at home.
In an oil-mad city, the lights were out and yet it almost felt even more alive, as people behaved as though they were part of a giant community, feeling connected by their collective action.
While this year I haven’t got any big plans for travel to camp on the Oregon Coast beaches or rubbing elbows with other environmentally conscious individuals at hip Calgary restaurants, I will still aim to recognize our collective effect on our planet by turning out some lights and simplifying for an evening. Maybe just a simple dinner by candlelight and a glass of wine.
But most of all, hopefully I will remember to keep our Earth in mind every day, and not just on March 26.