An Earth Minute.

March 31st, 2008

Did you observe Earth Hour? Or were your plans derailed, like mine were, by the reality of your life?


I had the best of intentions, I really did. At 7:50 p.m. Saturday evening I ran around the house, turning off lights and prepping. Then I remembered that DH was out picking up our kindergartner from his best buddy’s house. If I turned out the front light, they might slip and fall in the dark, I worried. So I left it on. (“At least it’s a compact fluorescent,” I thought).

I grabbed Baby Boo, ready to carry him upstairs to bed, when I realized that it was awfully treacherous going up those dark stairs with a 30 pound writhing bundle of joy. I considered candles but quickly rejected that option as too dangerous with a toddler in the house. Never mind that for thousands of years toddlers survived in dwellings lit solely by candlelight. I turned on the hall light – just so we could make it upstairs safely.

A few minutes later, our 5-year-old came running upstairs, excitedly telling me about his latest adventures. He flipped on the light in the darkened room. Before I could admonish him, “Turn it off! It’s Earth Hour!,” his little brother was jumping all over him. They looked like two little puppy dogs at play. I gazed at them adoringly, happy to have light to see them (and to make sure Baby Boo didn’t roll off the couch!).

I started to feel irritated that things weren’t going according to plan. At that point, I reminded myself of the advice a life coach had shared with my Mother’s Group: If you have kids under age 5, be kind to yourself and lower your expectations!

Finally, well after 8 p.m., I left Baby Boo’s room and made my way up to Big Boy’s room to say good night. All the upstairs lights were blazing. “It’s Earth Hour!” I hissed.

“But you promised me my allowance and a game of Rat-a-Tat-Cat,” he protested. I had promised, so I relented. Plus, I never can resist a good game of Rat-a-Tat-Cat, and it’s hard to play when the Boo Bear is awake because he toddles through all the cards.

DH turned off all the lights, save the light in Big Boy’s room. We played, we laughed, we joked.

Night night.

“See, all the lights are out now, Cutie Pie,” said DH.

It was 8:59 p.m. The last minute of Earth Hour.

We observed Earth Minute.


Did you observe Earth Hour (or Earth Minute) ? What was it like for you? Please leave a comment and share!

Updated (5/17/08) Check out this piece in the Washington Post about Earth Hour’s real impact – or lack thereof.

6 Responses to “An Earth Minute.”

  1. nadine sellers on March 31, 2008 8:59 am

    one welcoming mother–one little flashlight–one happy toddler–murmurs in the dark–and a whole house a-hush. a sense of delicious quasi mystery.

    children prepared ahead of time to make a game of let’s use our ears to see–our fingers to touch–our minds to invent a story–and tell of feelings.some serious, some silly.

    much can be felt about life in the dark, whole relationships can be bonded and enjoyed, and expanded by the lack of visual stimulus.

    Mama? Yes,was it dark when you were little? No but i wish it had been now.. Mama? Yes, why do we have to talk so low? So that we may hear the sounds of life around us.i hear you breathing, like a cat, are you purring? Mama, why do we have so many lights everywhere are we afraid of the dark? No, we just get used to wasting resources, what’s resources?

    Ah, you’re right, Nadine…a flashlight…..had I not been so tired I might have thought of that! :) Next year I’ll do better! — Lynn

  2. Mother Earth on March 31, 2008 9:06 am

    i had to laugh at this story, I was reminded how life was in toddler land, time could not or would not stay still,it definitely had it’s own tick tock

    nadine you bring such expression to this

    my daughter said from her dad’s place; does the TV use electricity – she’s 17, I further asked gee darlin is it plugged in to an electrical socket?

    I’m glad you laughed! :) Laughter, the best medicine for wellness! — Lynn

  3. MamaBird/SurelyYouNest on March 31, 2008 9:57 am

    Loooove your candor and humor, as usual, Lynn! We actually have you covered on this one…remember, it *takes a village* to raise green children. We started Earth Hour an hour early so our older could participate (younger already in bed at 7). So we snuggled to (soy) candlelight and asked her what she thought we should do to make the Earth healthier. “I already told you, Mom! That is why I am running for President! To make sure we have fresh air, fresh water, and fresh sky!” After she went to bed, the adults had a romantic candlelit evening with no tv! no online addiction! It was pretty amazing… I cannot remember the last time I went to sleep at 9pm! Earth Hour #2 officially donated to OrganicMania. xo

    Hey MamaBird, thanks for sharing….and appreciating…and the good ideas. DH suggested I get the time changed to 9 p.m. to make it easier for parents, but maybe I just need to start earlier! :) And the whole point is awareness, right….so we’ll try to keep more lights off all the time! — Lynn

  4. Sue on April 2, 2008 7:38 am

    Hi Lynn,

    What a completely heartwarming story. Look at the bright side, one minute is better than no minutes and MORE IMPORTANTLY, you talked to your kids about the earth hour. Getting ideas like these into our community consciousness is an important contribution, don’t sell yourself short.

    Thanks, Sue! :)

  5. Organic and Green Mom Blog | 5 Tips for Observing Earth Hour with Kids: Get More than an Earth Minute! at Organic Mania on March 28, 2009 11:41 am

    […] my grand plans for Earth Hour were derailed by the reality of life with little kids: as I blogged here, I ended up with an “Earth Minute.” This year, I’m determined to learn from the past and […]

  6. Organic and Green Mom Blog | Kids and Earth Hour: Finally, We’ve Got It Down! at Organic Mania on March 27, 2010 6:42 pm

    […] Kids and Earth Hour: Finally, We’ve Got It Down! March 27th, 2010 Ever since Earth Hour debuted in 2008, I’ve struggled with how to incorporate the late evening holiday into my childrens’ bedtime routines. The first year, we celebrated what I called an “Earth Minute.” […]

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind

CommentLuv badge