Get Switched Off, Man

By Julie Fiedler
|  Monday, Mar 30, 2009  |  Updated 12:35 PM EDT
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It’s a dark time for Mother Earth, but not in the way you’d think.

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Got plans this Saturday night? Pencil this one in your calendar: Earth Hour. All you have to do is turn out your lights. It may sound crazy, but everyone is doing it. Seriously. Everyone.

Like the wave at a baseball game, a bout of darkness will traverse the globe this Saturday from 8:30-9:30 p.m EST. Starting in Australia and moving with the local time change, cities will be a bit dimmer as the evening of March 28 rolls along. In an effort to show Mother Earth some support, people in countries around the world will unplug their computers, switch off their lights and turn off their TVs.

Even big corporations, like our mother ship NBC, are getting into it. NBC will turn off its marquee lights at Rockefeller Center in New York City in support of the Earth Hour initiative. According to the World Wildlife Fund several other New York landmarks will also participate, including Times Square billboards, and the Chrysler and Empire State buildings. However, lighting related to public safety will remain on.

If we can do it, so can you. Instead of lamenting an hour without your beloved electricity, make a thing of it. Light some candles, play some board games and (gasp!) engage in conversation.

If you’ve ever wondered how you can help the earth and aren’t ready to make a big commitment, then celebrate Earth Hour this weekend. If you think little old you can’t make a difference, take the words of Galadriel from Lord of the Rings to heart. “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” As in fiction, so in life. Switch off, man.

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