PEN&INKee^POSSIBILITIES:No lights, no TV, no problem!

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By Kirsten Laskey

It’s absurd how I have allowed TV to become my major form of entertainment. It’s the thing I turn to when I don’t know what else to do.

Sometimes I justify turning the television on by telling myself it provides some noise in my apartment so it won’t be so eerily quiet.

But in reality, whatever appears on the screen generally suckers me onto the couch to passively observe whatever is on TLC or HGTV.

Being passive every once in a while has its merits, but there are times when you need to get up off the couch and flip off the TV. Earth Hour provided me with the perfect opportunity to take some action.

To tell you the truth, it really wasn’t me pushing myself up and into action, it was my sister and her family pushing me. I drove to White Rock to see them Saturday evening just as the countdown to Earth Hour, which encouraged citizens of the world to turn off their electricity for one hour, was starting.

My sister decided to take part in this world-wide effort to pay a little bit of consideration to Mother Earth and my brother-in-law, niece, oldest nephew and I gave our support.

So when 8 p.m. rolled around, the lights were switched off; the TV went blank; candles were lit and the fun began.  

Moving their hands across the light of a candle, my sister, niece and nephew made shadow animals, which were projected onto the ceiling. We also spent the hour telling wild stories about a dog and his squid friend and a man who grew enormous peppers.

My brother-in-law even pulled out his camping stove so we could drink hot chocolate and my niece and nephew laid out pillows and blankets to camp out in the living room.

It was only an hour long, but that hour was the most fun I experienced all week.

To me, Earth Hour was more than just helping the environment; it reminded me just how important it is to be with other people, especially family. When hanging out with my family, there is no need for a TV because we entertain each other –  we’re the ones filling the room with noise.  

Plus, you get so much more accomplished when the electricity is off. During Earth Hour, my sister and brother-in-law educated their children about the importance of caring for the Earth and I learned about the operations of a camp stove.

Even more than that, we were connected to hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of people who participated in Earth Hour. We were united in a single cause to help heal the earth – just by simply turning off the TV and getting off the couch.