i decided that i wasn't just going to turn off my lights, but try to minimize my consumption completely by doing as little as possible that required electrical energy.
at 7:55pm i was hungry and i realized that with all the lights out i was going to have a hard time making food (not to mention that i didn't want appliances running from 8 to 9pm) so i rushed to make some toast. tasty! but this reminded me of anecdotes from campus energy saving competitions, where students would shower and use their computers in other buildings to reduce their consumption in their own building, which was the object being measured. since 8 to 9pm is what mattered, i pushed ahead my cooking -- so did i really make a savings?
from 8 to 9pm i can honestly say i did very little that used energy, but i still consumed! i became bored and so i started eating snacks. but two good things happened: i practiced my didj. i was belting out eighties hits on my didj, no small feat :) i also sat in the dark and day dreamed. very amusing scenarios played out in my head, but i'm not going to share them here..
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overall, i found the experience quite trying, and i'm actively attempting to reduce my consumption. candle light would've been nice, but i didn't even have that.
summary: of course, no one is going to live in such darkness, so the experiment was more about raising my own awareness of my highly consumptive behavior, and trying to be at peace with doing less, having less. the collective action of 8 to 9pm is also quite important, because hopefully SF is going to go to the power company and get some numbers (for instance, sydney supposedly saw 10% less energy draw last year during earth hour).
building awareness in the dark, that's a funny idea eh?