At 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29, homes, businesses and entire cities around the globe will go dark for one hour to raise awareness of the planet during Earth Hour 2014.
The campaign, which began as a local event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights to show support for environmentally sustainable action, has since grown into a global event, with hundreds of millions of participants in more than 7,000 cities taking part last year, including private citizens, businesses and many of the most recognized man-made and natural landmarks in the world. In the past, the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, Empire State Building, Mount Rushmore, the entire Las Vegas strip and even the great pyramids of Gaza have participated.
It's a grassroots movement success story, to be sure, and the beauty of it is that you don't need to make time to take to the streets to show your support. All you have to do is turn off your lights and powered devices for one hour, and that hour can benefit you personally, as well. Maybe play charades with the kids by candlelight or take the opportunity to talk with otherwise-smartphone-chained teens. Teach the dog a new trick. You might find you actually like sitting in the dark without the TV blaring.
Regardless of where you stand on climate change, you can't argue that saving energy for an hour is a bad thing. Or that playing charades won't be fun.