Sorry, vegan zombie joke.
Anyway, last night was Earth Hour, and so at 8pm we shut off all the lights and non-essential electronics. Most of our complex went dark — there was only a single light on outside one house. My housemate flaked on the couch and read an ebook on his palm pilot. I lit a half dozen candles (mmmmm, beeswax) and spent some time looking through cookbooks. Paper cookbooks. (gasp!) Ultimately I found a bread recipe close to what I’ve been wanting, and started bread by candlelight.
Many hours later, after Earth Hour ended and we’d (eventually) put some lights back on, a very tired me pulled these out of the oven. The original recipe was for Mollie Katzen’s sunflower-millet bread from Enchanted Broccoli Forest (a Moosewood cookbook), but I veganized the recipe and converted it to a 12-grain loaf by the very simple expedient of substituting a multigrain cereal mixture for the millet. It’s hands-down the healthiest bread I’ve ever made, and also the best ‘sandwich bread’ — it slices perfectly, and has a good, non-crumbly texture. Probably won’t last long. Half a loaf is on its way to a sick friend, and the other half is almost gone too. Good thing I made two loaves.
Tomorrow is Earth Hour! If you haven’t heard about it already, it’s an event organized by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) to encourage awareness of climate change. It’s easy to participate too — just turn off your lights between 8pm and 9pm. Really, that’s it! You can turn off more if you like, of course. :) I don’t know about other countries, but I know that here in Canada a lot of cities are officially getting in on the act too, and turning off or reducing the lighting in many public buildings and landmarks — places like Niagara Falls and the CN Tower.
What can turning the lights off for a mere hour do? Well here’s a quote from the event’s Facebook page:
“Last year, on 31 March 2007, 2.2 million people and 2100 Sydney (Australia) businesses turned off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour. This massive collective effort reduced Sydney’s energy consumption by 10.2% for one hour, which is the equivalent effect of taking 48,616 cars off the road for a year.”
Just a bit more proof that small things can make a difference. So why not turn your lights off for an hour tomorrow evening and have a late dinner by candlelight, or go for a walk and see if the stars are any clearer?
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