Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Earth Day Everybody.

We celebrated Earth Day in Israel mostly in the dark, but I'll begin in the beginning. As a family we're trying to make our little efforts in help keeping this planet a pretty and hospitable place to us humans. Are efforts in green living are completely non-heroic and not dramatic I'm afraid, but we think that these are reasonable things that we can do. We recycle our plastics containers, glass bottles and paper. We changed many lamps in our house to fluorescent lights that are more economical, we planted trees in our back yard and on all our porches, and we try to sustain our back yard with the minimum possible amount of water and without chemicals. I'm afraid that I still use regular detergents when I wash the kids clothes, the environmental friendly washing powder is no match to the stains children under the age of 12 inflict on their clothes.
On the last week of April it was announced that Israel will celebrate Earth Hour, and some 15 cities will ask their citizens to turn off the lights for an hour, between 8 to 9PM, in order to reduce the amount of fossil fuel based energy consumed. We decided that we will make a nice family event of the occasion. At 8 PM of that evening, we turned off all the electricity in the house, including all the appliances that are usually in Stand-By mode. We lighted candles and the kids ate dinner by candle light.

When they finished eating, we sat on the sofa in the living room, with a head flash-light and read stories. It was very funny. The ambiance actually was very peaceful and quiet, as if turning off the power reduced the background noise, although we left the fridge turned on and humming the whole Earth hour. In our neighbourhood there were several other houses who turned off the lights but the majority of the people couldn't care less.

Of course we know that the effect of cutting our power for only an hour is ridiculous. We still use huge amounts of fossil fuel based energy every day. But it was fun to spend an hour with the kids in the magical light of candles and show them that once people lived like that, with no electricity. To me this hour demonstrated how very dependant we are in technology. After an hour and a half by candle light and a LED flash-light, I was happy to turn on the lights and computer.