Earth Hour is nearly here (Saturday from 8:30-9:30pm)! It’s amazing that, with our technology-driven lives, filling an entire hour without the use of television, internet, vehicles, microwaves etc, can be such a daunting task. Without the constant Twitter stream or Facebook status updates, what are we to do with a FULL HOUR?!

While the purpose of Earth Hour is to benefit the environment and bring awareness to our individual consumption, this question is a valuable side effect. Participating in Earth Hour gives us the chance to reconnect and get back to basics. Here are our top 25 things to do during Earth Hour. Let us know what you’re planning for Earth Hour Activities on our Facebook page (why not do it during Earth Hour from your Smartphone?) at:

1. Shot In The Dark Mysteries’ Earth Hour Mini-Mystery – $19.97, 1 hour to play, 5 people

Okay, come on! You couldn’t expect us to post a blog about Earth Day without tooting our own horn a bit here. Shot In The Dark Mysteries is VERY environmentally conscious, and in 2010 we launched a game designed to be played in the dark for Earth Hour, called (not surprisingly) The Earth Hour Murder. Play it in about an hour with a minimum of 5 people – with NO MAXIMUM! Grab a flashlight, light some candles and pull out your magnifying glass and get ready to solve a mystery in an hour! While it is a “murder” mystery, it’s “Clean” (no references to drugs or sex), so the kids can play at the adults’ discretion.

A game designed with Earth Hour and Earth Day in mind - playable in the dark!

A game designed with Earth Hour and Earth Day in mind – playable in the dark!

2. Fondue. Yum.

3. Hand-wash your delicates. Oh please, we know they’ve been piling up. Have you – oh my, you’ve been sneaking them in with the rest of the laundry haven’t you, you bad girl.

4. Grab your significant other and spend the hour in bed. Or living room, kitchen or laundry room, if you’re into that type of thing.

5. Walk your Dog (or, if you’re really brave, your cat!)

6. Roast Marshmallows by candlelight. Use chop sticks as roasting sticks, but keep your fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.

7. Play a board game, like Scrabble
. The winner gets bragging rights for a full year until the rematch.

8. Tweet or Facebook with other Earth Hour participants on your smartphone. Make some new friends, get some new followers and get in on the buzz.

9. Fingerpaint in the dark. If  you have kids, do it on canvas, then set up an art wall the following day, when you can see your level.

10. Have a front or backyard catch-up session with the neighbours you haven’t seen all winter. Supply beer to ensure excellent neighbourhood relations for the rest of the summer.

11. Balance your budget. Ugh. Or…

12. Have a bad-poetry contest. The worst Haiku is off dishes duty for a week.

13. Take random moonlight pictures with your phone. Sup them up with a cool smartphone app, like Instagram and share with the world.

14. Dance around with glow sticks and marvel at how trippy they are (drugs optional)

15. Tell a story from your past that no one else knows. Keep it PG if kids are around!

16. Prepare and eat a raw food dinner with items purchased from an organics store that deals in local produce. Keep track of the foods you enjoy and implement them into your regular meals.

17. Build a fort with the couch cushions and then read a classic by candlelight. You’ve been looking for an excuse to reconnect with Mr. Darcy – or that cute Tin Man that was so smitten with Dorothy.

18. Find a place where the moonlight is strong and see who can make the best shadow puppets.

19. Pull out your telescope or binoculars and search for the constellations. Get a star map from the bookstore or online, or make up your own.

20. Go to bed early.
Come on, you know you deserve it.

21. Catch up on housework. See how weird cleaning the bathroom in the dark is (but stay clear of the comode, cuz – yuck.)

22. Learn a new language via podcast on your smartphone (look for Coffee Break Spanish, French and Italian, they’re the best).

23. Hold a wine tasting. Keep track of your faves and serve them the next time you have company.

24. Join an e-waste recycling drive for charity, or a similar initiative in your community.

25. Make a shopping list days before and challenge yourself to get everything you need during Earth Hour from participating businesses (ladies, shoes ARE arguably a necessity if the shoe store turns down the lights!).