Thursday, April 23, 2009

Saving The Planet

I hadn't planned anything specific for Earth Day. I generally chop up plastic six-pack rings and drop cans and bottles in the recycle bin, but Earth Day is about making an extra effort on one specific day before climbing back in the massive domestic SUV and driving out to some private land to shoot at forest creatures.
Accordingly, I decided to not use electricity for an hour last night.
I did plan to continue using my share of oxygen from the atmosphere because there is only so far I am willing to go for the planet.
I gathered a pile of candles and shut down my laptop and cellphones at 9:21EST last night and grabbed a notebook to record the process.

9:21EST -- After watching the screen go dark, I immediately wonder if anyone else is performing this ritual in honor of the planet. Before realizing it, I've typed "" on the unresponsive keyboard of my powered-down computer. Research will need to wait.

9:22EST -- I can totally do this. It's an hour, right? And I have a book.

9:24EST -- One of the character names is familiar. I turn again to the darkened screen to hit Wikipedia to find out if this character has been in another book I've read, or if I've possibly already read this book and just don't remember it. The laptop is still closed.

9:25EST -- How much power does a laptop really use? Not like I can go online and check. . .

9:31EST -- I found a magazine I haven't seen before. One of the models is scary with super dark eye makeup. She wears a wool dress to the beach for some reason. I suspect she wants to sell me something, but without being able to go to the freaking website on the ad I will likely never know.

9:36EST -- I shut off some stray lights in other parts of the house. There is still some light from glowing LEDs and flashing "power off" indicator lights.

9:45EST -- Is it cheating if I just go to sleep? Again, the impulse hits to ask the internet if there are rules about this kind of thing.

9:54EST -- Okay, seriously. I recycle. I drive responsibly. What has the planet ever done for me?

10:02EST -- If the ice was already made, is it cheating for me to put some in a glass? Also, how "green" is the vodka production process?

10:05EST -- I found food coloring. Candlelight sucks. Vodka is now definitely "green".

10:10EST -- You know what the problem is? It's dark outside. Today was so beautiful. Tiny white puffy clouds, temperatures in the mid seventies, a light breeze. It was hard to stay cooped up at work. All I wanted to do all afternoon was skip out, head home, fire up the laptop and browse the internet for adorable kitten pictures. I wasn't done with that until dark.

10:14EST -- If I were actually going insane, would I know? What would that feel like? I miss you, WebMD.

10:20EST -- I can go a minute without looking at the clock. Sixty seconds. No big deal.

10:20EST -- One, Two, Three, Four . . .

10:21EST -- Begin transcribing my notes into this post. Still shaking a little, though. Stupid planet.

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