Back in 2002, I think it was, there was a big ice storm in North Carolina where we lived at the time. We were without electricity for seven days. It was quite cold (something like 8 degrees outside after the storm in a place where homes had very limited insulation). This was pre-parenthood, and we found it surprisingly difficult to entertain ourselves with no electricity. (There was a baby boom nine months after the ice storm. Those people’s homes must not have been as cold as our apartment was. I refused to wear fewer than three layers at any time and the cats slept under the covers with us for warmth.)
After the storm, when the lights came back on, we found that we missed the dark and the quiet. For a few months, we would have what we called “Cat and Candle” one night a week. We cooked by candlelight, ate dinner by candlelight, sat and talked by candlelight, played with the cats by candlelight. It was quite a lot of fun and helped us to recapture what it might have been like to live in a luxury apartment in a gated community in North Carolina before there was electricity. It also helped us to feel good about saving energy. We gradually lost interest in the exercise and haven’t done it in years.
We might give it a try for Earth Hour tomorrow night. I’m skeptical about what impact one dark house in the middle of Salt Lake City will have, but it could be enjoyable anyway.