Earth Hour 2017: What I learned about myself

What the heck is Earth Hour?:

Welcome back friendos! As you may have seen from my FB or Instagram, this weekend I participated in Earth Hour! What is Earth Hour you ask? Earth Hour was held on Saturday March 25th from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm whatever your local time zone is. Basically, it is a global event where everyone turns off their lights during the 1 hour. People, businesses and landmarks all participated this year in over 30 countries. It is meant to be an event to create awareness to climate change.

You can read more about it here:

How I enjoyed my hour:

I’m very proud to say that everyone in my house participated in Earth hour this year. We all took to the event differently, the goal of raising awareness and leaving the lights off for the hour was definitely met (WOOT! Way to go fam jam!).

For my part, I decided to read a book that I’ve been working on for quite some time. It’s a hard one to get into and I never dedicate any time to reading it. Having the hour off, I decided I would take the time to read it by candle light. I found candles a few weeks ago while cleaning out the back of a closet in our house. They were kept there for emergency power outages, but were never used. So I used them! 3 to be exact. In case you can’t tell, I’m very big on ‘use it up fully before buying new ones’. We found these ones, so we used these ones. My mom also went into the recycling bin and grabbed out 3 containers to hold the candles. 2 were her dog’s food containers and 1 was from an old cheese product that was finally finished. She fashioned them up in a jiff for me (thanks ma!) and I went to a quiet area and read. I snapped a quick picture (to encourage others through social media, and for the sake of this blog post), then shut off my phone altogether.

What I learned:

I learned just how quiet a house can get once all the busyness subsides. At the beginning, I found it to be rather eerie. But as time passed and I was finally able to get into my book (since, ya know, I finally dedicated time to it), I grew more and more at peace. It was a rather lovely experience. Nothing worried me, I was not feeling any sort of stress and the candles all placed together created a very pretty illumination on my pages. The more I read, the happier I found myself. I plowed through about 4 chapters within 45 minutes, that’s how entranced I was. I didn’t find myself stopping, I didn’t allow myself to get distracted at all. Honestly though, with nothing going on in the background, there were no distractions! I can confidently say that I found a piece of myself that I didn’t know I was missing. Whether it was brought on by the candle light (fire does have a very primal effect on the brain) or the fact that I was completely unplugged and left to be alone with my thoughts. I don’t exactly know what it was… but I liked it!

Once 9:30 hit, I got up and started finishing the tidying up from the day. In order to keep my peaceful mindset, I kept it by candle light. I turned my phone on for a minute and realized that my connection to this THING was a part of the problem. So I shut it off again and this time for the night. In fact, it was only turned back on the next morning about 2 hours after I woke up. Saturday night, I continued to read in bed by candle light and decided to just drift off to sleep. This is huge for me on a personal level. I have such an unhealthy connection to screens that I am typically unable to fall asleep without watching a show. I always put the sleep timer on the television so I know it won’t run all night, but still! Being so at peace with myself and so happy in my little bubble that I was able to naturally fall asleep. For me that’s huge! There isn’t even any other way to express it! It was huge! The next morning, I continued with the simplicity of just enjoying my own presence (well, my own and the presence of the dog, she needed attention and I was more than happy to give it). I consciously kept my phone off and out of reach while I went on about my day. I took the time to feed the dog, play with her, walk her and enjoy my coffee without any busyness going on in the background. I then took to my book again.

I only resumed with technology (I should really say screens) once everyone else was awake and starting their day. The serenity of the night before and the morning is something that I have longed to experience and won’t soon forget. Don’t get me wrong, I am a general happy person, very optimistic and joyful and eager to pass on my positivity to those around me. Allowing myself to be unplugged has stirred something in me, a yearning for it to become a norm rather than a treat; and I have Earth Hour to thank for this! For without it, I would have never (or at least not yet) made this self-discovery and I would still be living my life, content with my screen addiction.

For updates on this self-discovery or more tips and tricks to living Zero Waste, head over and like my page on Facebook Live Waste Free; where you’ll get daily ideas to keep you going on the Zero-Waste path.

Or follow me on Instagram @livewastefree for random pics and funnies!

---- Dawn Francom ---- 2019-03-07 16:14:19