Every year, Earth Hour has been gaining recognition for one simple idea: to conserve as little energy as possible. Not only will turning out the lights and any unnecessary electrical equipment be a fun way to spend the hour, but by the end of the hour you will have realized how “plugged in” most of us really are.
Here are 10 things to do during Earth Hour that are completely free, fun, and best of all, will create some lasting memories.
1. Play board games by candlelight. Ouija takes on a whole new level of creepiness if you just turn off the lights. Ghost stories go hand in hand with the board, too. Who knows, maybe you’re friend will even become possessed by a demon.
2. Roast S’mores. The weather is perfect in late March for roasting your own S’mores by campfire. While you’re at it, try roasting hot dogs for dinner with beans. It’s a great night to plan a camping trip, too, which naturally uses less energy than staying at home.
3. Walk to the nearest beach and view the tidal pools at night. If you can’t walk, then make a night of it and plan on having dinner at a local restaurant with mostly veggies or locally grown/harvested food.
4. Listen for animals. Animals are also lurking in forests, meadows, and on ponds at night. Stop and listen and see what you hear. It could surprise you!
5. Have a portable game system like a Nintendo DS or wireless reader? Not only are these fun, but they let you relax, unwind, sharpen your brain, and use less energy than your TV. Use rechargeable batteries to power up.
6. Do something you never do at night: look up. View the constellations on your Droid or iPhone constellation app to see what it is you’re looking at. Yes, your phone will use some energy, but not as much as you watching TV, using the blender, turning on the electric blanket, having the lights on, and doing a load of laundry.
7. Speaking of laundry, making your own daytime Earth Hour is a good idea to conserve by hanging up your clothes on the line instead of using the dryer. Be extra good and use soap nuts.
8. Go with the crowds. Some places aren’t going to participate in Earth Hour no matter what, like the movie theaters or packed concert venues. Head there to use the electricity they’ll be using anyway, and catch up on the latest flicks, a concert, or anywhere where you being there doesn’t really affect how much energy is being used there.
9. With the lights out, it’s more relaxing. Have a closet or cabinet full of pampering spa products just sitting there waiting to be used? Now is the perfect night to have a candle lit bath and use your spa products.
10. You know what else is great with the lights off? You know where we’re headed with this. Sex! Make a commitment to spend a full hour with the lights off by starting off with massages before making the leap to the final course.
Now that you’ve read what you can do, tell us what your plans are, or what you’ve done in past Earth Hour events in the comments. If you’re looking for even more activities, read this page for suggestions featuring 50 things to do during Earth Hour (these will definitely keep you busy).