If you've marked Earth Hour in the past, and you did so at home or your neighborhood, you know it can be a rather convivial affair.
The television is off. The lights are off. There are only a few things to do during the 60 nightime minutes, minutes we are encouraged to spend thinking about sustainability and all the energy we use and take for granted on a daily basis.
Soon, you hear a neighbor talking in the street, so you walk out to join the conversation. And then, it is a small party. And, maybe if you're lucky, a larger one. Who brought the lemonade and brews?
We speak anecdotally, here, of course, since that happened on our own block a couple of times. But we wish that for every town that will take part in the Saturday, March 30 event. The short and easy of it: Turn your lights off from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sixty minutes is all (which is why you see "60" on so many Earth Hour logos).
And that's 8:30 everywhere, not just Los Angeles.
Business participation grows as the date approaches, so don't be surprised to find the restaurant you want to dine in setting out the candles. Rather nice, actually. If you want to see the really big places -- like the world-famous landmarks -- that have committed to participating in 2012, check out these pictures. Tower Bridge, the Arch de Triomph, and the Strip are all pictured.
Earth Hour was born five years ago when the World Wildlife Fund in Australia decided to create a worldwide event that could raise awareness on the important sustainability and environmental issues.
Photo: © Jeremiah Armstrong / WWF-Canada