Lights out

I’ll admit it, we’re a high-tech, high energy consuming family. We have computers, video game consoles, portable gaming systems, ice making machine, bead machine… heck if it plugs in, we probably have it. We do try to do our part with controlling our energy usage. We’ve changed out our bulbs, we use low water washing machine and do laundry and dishes during low times, we turn out lights in rooms were not in. This last habit is a hard lesson for kids to grasp. I was surprised to hear my son remind his teacher to turn the classroom light off when she left the class after school one day. Maybe it is sinking in.

Rain, rain, time to play.

Rain, rain, time to play.

Rubber boots

Rubber boots

The kids were looking forward to this years Earth Hour. Living in the big city, we’re fortunate to have a wonderful Nature Centre located in the big city park, located near our home. They run great programs for kids. This year the Nature Centre was running a lantern making workshop the week before Earth Hour and we decided to participate.

The weather was very wet and gray. My husband thought maybe we should drive, but really, we live so close it didn’t make sense. I actually think the kids enjoyed the adventure of running through the puddles to get to the centre more than driving in the drizzle anyway.

I had saved and washed three glass bottles for the kids to decorate. A little one for my youngest. A large one for my oldest. And one that fell somewhere between the size of the two for my middle child.

Creative concentration

Creative concentration

Enthusiastic start.

Enthusiastic start.

We arrived early. That and the rain ensured we could find a spot at one of the long tables to work on our lanterns. My oldest had done one of the Nature Centre’s lantern workshops years ago so she didn’t need any direction or motivation to start on her creation. Sitting at the table she started to plan her pattern and look through the various paper samples to find just the right pieces.

Our other two started enthusiastically, but after one or two pieces were glued to their lantern, they were more interested in exploring the Centre. My husband and I worked to finish the half completed lanterns while the easily distracted other two (more alike than I care to admit sometimes) went to look at the turtle or the hamster or the sample of bird nests stored in a cabinet.

Katie helping with lantern handles

Katie helping with lantern handles

Diana and my son hamster watching

Diana and my son hamster watching

While my oldest continued to cut and paste and plan her lantern, Katie and Diana, two of the amazing ladies at the centre, worked to put handles on our two finished lanterns and my husband read some nature stories to keep the other two in one place.

The finished lanterns were carried home with pride. On Saturday, before Earth Hour, we ate dinner by lantern light. Each child had their lantern on display in front of their sitting area. Earth Hour started after our kid’s regular bedtime, but we let the two oldest stay up. We sat and told stories, looked out the window to see who had their lights on or off. Near the end of the hour we all sat quietly, listening. Silence. Not a sound that’s heard often. It was a nice way to end the day.The lanterns sit on our sideboard in the dining room as a reminder. Why does it take one hour, once a year for us to make this extra effort?Hopefully a reminder to us each day.
Hopefully a reminder to us each day

Hopefully a reminder to us each day

Advertisements

2 responses to this post.

  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

    Reply

  2. Posted by Kris on March 30, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Today Austin was telling his playdate Josephina (all girl by the way) that she needed to turn out the lights. Of course his reasoning was that if you don’t after a while they stop working – but none the less the message – I think got through and she shut the door, too. Of course it would be too much to ask for a flush but heck I forget that, too, just ask my husband! Ah kids – aren’t they awesome.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: