Earth Hour is tomorrow! A symbolic lights out event, taking place Saturday, 24 March from 8:30pm-9:30pm worldwide. Committing to turning off unnecessary lights for Earth Hour, is a symbolic gesture of uniting in solidarity to raise awareness about climate change and environmental issues. It is the perfect time to get unplugged and reconnect with nature.
On that note, here are some eco tips and a challenge for you this Earth Hour. A great way to help the planet, lower your electricity bill and your carbon footprint, is by simply unplugging items not in use. When items are plugged in that are not needed, or when your laptops or iPads are being charged longer than they need to be it is a waste of electricity. This is known as phantom electricity. When your smartphones, iPads, iPods and other devices are fully charged, unplug them. It is an easy habit to forget about your devices that are in the charger and allow them to absorb more power than they need.
While on the topic of being unplugged, our daily lives are heavily consumed by our use of technology. From the moment we wake up to just before we go to sleep, chances are we have checked our phones for messages, emails and posted on Instagram and other social media platforms. There is nothing wrong with that, it is a part of our culture and a means of staying connected with friends and family. That being said, there is nothing wrong with taking a little time away from our phones and social media. Taking a challenge of incorporating a digital detox and social media detox from time to time can be a good thing. The sky won’t come crashing down if you take an hour out of your day and disconnect from your smartphone, iPad, laptop and social media. Spending copious amounts of time glued to our phones is not particularly healthy. For instance, that white light projected from our electronic devices can really strain your eyes or even induce headaches. Too much stimuli from technology could be causing us to become easily distracted, as we often have so much information being thrown at us from a multitude of platforms. We are also probably finding ourselves skimming through articles, emails and messages because social media is conditioning us to read short bursts of information. Our attention spans could be lessening. A welcomed break from the digital overload can be a positive experience. It presents a great opportunity to go outside and connect to nature. Taking a break from technology and going for a swim in the ocean or hike through a nature reserve can be very beneficial. Setting particular days and/or times to take a break from your phone, laptop, iPad and social media to simply get unplugged and reconnect with nature can be a very positive and rejuvenating experience. It can allow you some time to recharge and clear your head. Take the challenge this Earth Hour and embrace a digital detox and reconnect with nature. Also, be mindful of electronic devices that are consuming unnecessary electricity, be sure to unplug devices once fully charged.
5 Ways to get Unplugged and Reconnect with Nature
Make a promise to yourself, to dedicate 15 mins to an hour each day to being disconnected from your smartphone and devices and spend some time reconnecting with nature. Whether you choose to go for a walk with your dog, spend some time swimming at the beach or stargazing in your backyard, it will be so worth it. It might seem like a hard challenge at first, but a little dedication goes a long way. Start small, invite friends over for a coffee, tea or wine. Have some good old fashioned “FaceTime” talking with friends one-on-one in person. There is something to be said, to having a conversation with friends and family in person. Yes, it is great to be able to text, email or FaceTime, but it doesn’t come close to bonding over great conversation in person.
Outdoor Dining & Smartphones in the basket
A great way to spend some time in nature is hosting a brunch, lunch or dinner party outside. Nothing brings friends and family together like an amazing homemade meal. To make that meal just a little bit more tasty and special, consider purchasing ingredients that are in season and available at your local farmers market. Make it a simple rule, that smartphones are to be placed in a basket until everyone is done eating. Of course, keep the basket near by, should someone be expecting an important call or may need to send an urgent message.
Games Night: Nature Edition
For those of you who love a little healthy competition and have friends and family who love a good old fashioned games night, this one is for you. If you have a pool deck with some fabulous lounge chairs, a porch, or some blankets and pillows then setup your games area outdoors. It is super fun changing up the scenery, and playing your favorite board games, Jenga, Pictionary, and Charades outdoors. To keep everyone off their phones, kindly ask everyone to place their phone in a basket until games night is over. Again, of course, keep the basket near by, should someone be expecting an important call or may need to send an urgent message.
#Offline: Soak Up The Sun
Personally, I have made it a habit to go offline or off the grid over the weekend as much as possible. It has made such a positive impact in my life. My mind feels so much more clear and I feel recharged. Whether you feel like sitting poolside and reading a good book or grab some friends together for a beach day, snorkel adventure with a picnic included. All that time spent outdoors, away from your phone will be well worth it. Life is about making memories and the little things. I love to document my memories and post them on Instagram as much as anyone, but I am learning to take more mental Kodak moments, so to speak.
Do Not Disturb
If you have an iPhone, schedule some time to switch your phone into “Do Not Disturb” mode and allow yourself to power-down before going to bed. During that time, you can plan to head outdoors for a night swim in the pool, do a little stargazing, or read a book on your porch.