My mom did Earth Hour. This is the same woman who runs her car for half an hour when it is -10 (Celcius, for you American readers) before she goes anywhere.**
I did not consciously choose not to do it, nor do I have anything against environmentalism. In fact, I am quite conscious about my environmental footprint (that seems to be a popular phrase nowadays). I just think that the whole idea is a gimmick to help the world feel better about its polluting/energy-gluttonous self, while, in reality, doing nothing to help solve the increasing crisis that is global warming.
So you turn off your lights and TVs and computers for an hour. WOW! That will TOTALLY help the planet, and you may immediately resume driving your SUVs which you have never taken off-road, not even once, or your damn 3/4 ton pickups, in which you have never hauled anything other than groceries or the odd archaic mattress that your grandmother has had since she was a toddler.
Also, feel free to plug-in your car overnight when it is a whopping -5 (again, Celcius) outside. Please remember to run your car and really warm it up good before you get in. You wouldn't want your poor bottom side to catch a chill. And when you go to the store, it's ok to leave your truck running whilst you shop: you participated in Earth Hour. You deserve it.
You may think that I am bitter. I'm not. I just don't understand how so many people can claim to be conscious about the state of our planet and our energy gluttony while they continue to drive vehicles that get less-than-stellar gas mileage, or buy plastic Ziploc steamer-bags to cook their food in, rather than dirty a pot and have to actually wash any dishes. I do not understand why my neighbour creates 4 garbage cans of waste each week and one meager box of recycling, while we create 4 bins of recycling and one can of garbage. Or why people with one child feel it absolutely necessary to drive a mini-van. I also do not understand why people cling to the idea that clothes MUST be washed in hot water to be thoroughly cleaned. They don't. They come out just as well when washed in *gasp* cold water. Try it sometime. You'll be amazed. You may also be amazed at your lower utility bill next month. Especially if you turn off the lights in the laundry room when you're not there. And use compact fluorescent bulbs.
One of my husband's coworkers, looking to buy a new (used) vehicle, and asked him this:
"What would you buy: a truck or an SUV?"
"Neither," he replied. "You live in a city, you don't go off-road, and you don't have a job that requires you to haul anything. They're bad on gas and will cost you more to run than a little car. I would get a car."
I'm not telling everyone out there to go and buy a hybrid*** or a Smart car (although it would be super-duper). I just want people to think a little before they do things: if you really care about the Earth, it has to be more than just Earth Hour. It has to be a way of life: going beyond what you want and discovering how you can live comfortably in a manner that treads a little lighter on our planet.
So no, I didn't turn off my lights for Earth Hour. I did what we always do between 8 and 9 pm: we turned off all of the lights upstairs and retired to the den in the basement, where we flicked one light-switch, and relaxed.
*If you are not familiar with the word "ca-ca'd", here's the best definition: Sacha says it right before he drops a bomb in his diaper. He points a finger at me and yells "caca!" when I let one slip at the grocery store. Or points to our cat's litter box and tells us that he sees "caca."
**Also, I love you, Mom. I just like to poke fun at you. Don't write me out of the will.
***By the way, hybrid SUVs do not count as hybrids. 25 mpg is NOT stellar: it is caca. My '89 Toyota Tercel got over 30 mpg. And it was 14 years old at the time. So to repeat, Hybrid SUVs: caca.