Over the weekend, my girl and I signed up for The Big Switch Off, an event encouraging people to create no greenhouse gas emissions for 24hrs.
We were both very excited to be participating, and at 8pm Saturday night, we went around the house turning everything OFF! The fridge, the computer, the TV, the stereo, the microwave, the hot water, the heater - EVERYTHING!
We participated at Level 2, which means that while our electricity and gas mains remained connected to the house, we were drawing no power from them. With a child, I wasn't sure if we'd make it the full 24hrs, either, and Level 2 allowed you to nominate the time period you wanted to pledge to (we nominated 12noon, but didn't turn the power back on til 6pm). We spent a night talking by candlelight, then when she toddled off to bed, I sat in my lounge and marveled at how QUIET the house is when everything is off. I even managed to get some knitting in, by holding a glow stick in my mouth in order to see the stitches!
The hardest thing I found was the lack of music - not only at night, but the next morning. I always have a CD or the radio going in the background, and at first it was a bit uncomfortable for me. The girl was more than happy to fill the aural void, however! Does everyone realise how much an 8yo can talk?!
On Sunday we took the more environmentally-friendly-than-the-car train into the city and hooked up with others participating for a big shindig in Treasury Gardens - with *music* and stalls and an eco-fairy tent (where we seemed to spend most of our time!)
Last night when we bathed, we appreciated the warmth of the water, then the heater to stand in front of whilst getting dressed. We appreciated the hot cup of tea after dinner, and the music we fell asleep too.
And I appreciated the light to knit by so much more than I ever thought I would!