Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What do you do for an hour in the dark?

Did you celebrate earth hour? We did and it was great!

See - here is a picture of my house - with all of the lights out!

This gave me a chance to practice taking pictures by candlelight (with such a perfect model as well - ooh la la).

What DID we do?

I was set to watch TV, in the dark.

However, DH told Lulu and I to turn off the television. Party Pooper! Then he magically disappeared to go walk the dog - leaving me alone with an angry tween who was missing the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award show and was ranting and raving that she was mad at Nick for scheduling the show during earth hour. How could they?

Thank modern technology for the cell phone. I mean, what IS a modern-day tween supposed to do without electricity? "Can I even go to the bathroom?" she asked before charging upstairs???

Luckily our neighbors (Green family - with two very fun little girls) were celebrating earth hour as well and invited us over for some wine. Well, the wine was for the adults! We had such a fun time just talking and chatting about life, work, and parenthood, while the girls played upstairs in the dark - which they loved.

Green Plug

The Green family went so far as to turn off the circuit breaker to their house for earth hour. Thus, none of their appliances (refrigerator, for example) were sucking up energy for the hour (confession, it was more like 2 hours of drinking eco-friendly fun) which reduced their power consumption to absolute zero. How freakin' fabulous is that?

McFamily (that's us) Challenge

According to some studies, "the relative cost of running an appliance is higher in stand-by than when it is switched on, as it spends more time in stand-by mode."

I first learned about stand-by mode while proofing a document at work this year. What the heck is stand-by mode? Uh - your TV is either off or on, right, duh? WRONG. You TV is either on or standing-by sucking up electricity while waiting for you to decide to turn it on to watch it.

Apparently, over in Europe, they have discovered that the stand-by mode is a drain on energy consumption. They are recommending that you plug some appliances into power strips and turn the entire strip off when you are not using the appliance (which equals a $$$$ saving to you). We are seriuosly thinking about using power strips for our entertainment stations (TV, Wii, DVD, and so on).

What about you? What are you doing to be green? Would you consider plugging some of your entertainment appliances into a power strip and turning it off when not in use? Did you celebrate earth hour? If so, what did you do, in the dark, for an hour (please keep it PG-rated folks)?


Grand Matriarch said...

I found the website and it said turn off ALL electricity.. That means NO TV! Throwing the master switch would take care of it! I was turning some things off, but forgot to turn them on again.. that was not good! But we do have a timer on the hot water heater and most of the time it is off...

Nap Mom said...

Yes. However, the same website was also urging us to "tweet" and blog about it "during the hour" so I figured that kinda stuff was okay (which doesn't make sense, I know).

Better yet - GRANDMA... you participated????? I'm so excited!

Grand Matriarch said...

Not that specific hour.. I forgot! But I do turn things off.. trying to make up for all those little lights I burn all night because I don't like the dark!

Jen said...

I took the challenge, well sort of. Check it out on my blog. I think you will like this and it might be useful to you.