Turn Off the Light

Nelly Furtato. Not only is she a Canadian girl with a cool sense of style, but she had it right. Ya gotta turn off the lights. Now she might have been singing more about holding up a rough and tough exterior until the lights go out. But really, how rough and tough can you be with all these lights on?

Wait a minute… why are all these lights in my house on?!?

My house is lit up like a Christmas tree at night. Part of it has to do with the fact that it is dark outside right now from 5 pm to 8 am. Also, I share my lodgings with a 2-year old and a 5 year-old, who have limited physical access to the light switch. But mostly, it is due to bad habits. We leave lights on.

So my challenge today is to see how much kilowatt hours of energy I can save in a month by going around turning off lights everywhere. Let’s live in the dark people! Really though, you only need a light in the room that you are currently in. You don’t need lights on in rooms that you will most likely visit in the next few minutes, but are not visiting now.

Typically, my kitchen light is always on, until late at night. My living room lights are always on. My kids’ bedroom lights are always on, in case they want to wander into their rooms to play. Hallway lights are also on to accommodate said wandering. But do we need all those lights on all the time?

I got a great idea! I can equip my kids with crank-powered LED light head gear, so that they can get around safely in our dark house, just like a couple of miniature miners. Is that pushing it too far? (kidding!)

But what else can I turn off? How low can I go?

I am reading “Sleeping Naked is Green” by Vanessa Farquharson right now. In the book she attempts to “green” her life from top to bottom. One of the things she tries is taking her morning shower in the dark. She rationalizes that showering in the dark is closer to sleeping in your bed than showering in the light. So I tried it. She’s got a point, it was not too bad.

So today’s resolution is to have a maximum of 4 lights on at all times when the kids are awake. When the kids are asleep, then we can have a max of 2 lights. That is one light per person, which should be more than enough.

I am sure it won’t be a problem, especially if we are spending time together as a family.


3 thoughts on “Turn Off the Light

  1. I saw a kid-friendly light switch handle thing at Baby and Beyond. It is flat with a hole in it that hangs on the switch (this only works for the older switch style, not the newer flat ones) and has a long handle that hangs down to kid-reaching height. Its a light switch extension, so to speak.

    And, I taught Rosie to turn lights off when she leaves the room at a very early age, younger than your littlest one is now. She can reach now, but before being able to reach she was to use the nearest footstool (there’s one in her room and in each bathroom so one was never far away). She wasn’t allowed to move on to the next activity until she went back and turned off the light. Your kids can do it too. Especially your older, he can totally reach.

    I’m sitting in the dark right now. Well not entirely; my Christmas tree is on. That I won’t give up, it’s too pretty. 🙂

      • Just think though – if Older has to TURN ON the light every time he goes into a room (or play in the dark… wait a minute, he might just do that, hey? I’m picturing it. 🙂 ), maybe it will be easier to get in the habit of turning it off?

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