CULTURE | What to Do on National Unplug Day March 1-2
You’ve already figured out step one in participating in National Unplug Day: unplug! So, what to do after you’ve unplugged the TV, turned off the iPad (sure, it’s not plugged in all the time, but we’re inclined to consider iPads “cheating”), and of course, shut off the lights? National Unplug Day actually starts, well, tonight, so here are a few helpful suggestions for good times without electricity. And hey, who knows? Maybe you’ll enjoy yourself so much, you’ll have an Unplug weekend! Your utilities bill will thank you.
Get cookin’ the old-fashioned way. If you have a fireplace or pit, try cooking dinner over the fire tonight! Why pay someone else good money for a “smoky” flavor when you can get the same effect in your own home or backyard? Light a few candles and you’ve also got yourself a romantic night in! Please, use all of the necessary precautions in doing something like this, of course. (We can’t stress that enough.)
Break out the guitar, have a concert, “Unplugged.” Some of the most memorable concerts in history were “unplugged” sessions. Even if you aren’t personally gifted on the 6-string, you can invite a friend with an acoustic guitar to come play music while you and fellow listeners sing or clap along. Barring that, drum circle, anyone?
Write a letter. Trendspotters will tell you that the 1990′s are back in fashion, but we’re more interested in the 1890′s, when folks wrote letters the people the next town over to keep up with one another’s lives. And really, when is the last time that you received a piece of mail that you didn’t either dread or immediately recycle? Think of how much your friends and family will appreciate a surprise letter or postcard from you — a person they care about and not a bill collector or advertiser — when they arrive in their mailboxes. You could write something like, “I’m celebrating National Unplug Day by sharing my review of the most recent book I read the old-school way: in a letter! Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein is quite possibly the most important book I’ll ever read. It’s completely changed the way I see the world and the economy…”
Meditate. What better time to free yourself from the distractions around you than when you’ve already unplugged at least a few of them? Here’s a sample of meditations from North Atlantic Books authors.
Do the things on your to-do list that never seem to get done. You’ve been meaning to sew up that hole in your pants pocket for months, but it always slips your mind. The baseboards really could use a good wipe-down. Actually, come to think of it, the walls and the blinds could use a cleaning, too. And then there’s the stuff that’s been piling up under the bed, in the hall closet, or in the boxes that you still haven’t unpacked from your move last year. You probably really should do something about all of that stuff. These are all things that you can accomplish with nary a spark of electricity. Now’s your chance to get organized.
Get crafty. Do you have old photos that you’ve been meaning to put in an album or scrapbook, or maybe someone has a birthday, baby or wedding shower, housewarming party coming up and you need a gift? This is the perfect opportunity to get creative and finally learn how to knit a scarf, crochet a beanie, cut and paste photos in a scrapbook, paint a mug, turn that ratty old t-shirt that you have trouble parting with but can’t wear into a pillow, etc.
Read a book. A book publisher who recommends reading books? Yes, no surprise here, but it is indeed one of the top recommendations for fun things to do on National Unplug Day, so we’re jumping on the book bandwagon. We’re talking about print books here, of course. We have so many good reading recommendations for you that keep with the spirit of National Unplug Day, like Darrin Drda’s The Four Global Truths, Charles Eisenstein’s The Ascent of Humanity, Antonio Lopez’s The Media Ecosystem, or Alan Marshall’s Wild Design.
Catch some extra ZZZ’s. You know the old saying, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Back in the day before we had fluorescent lights and disco balls, people went to bed shortly after nightfall, and woke up with the sunrise. If you have children, you could use this as an opportunity to promote good sleep hygiene, by promising that if they go to bed early, they might wake up to find a prize under their pillows (that’s the “wealthy” part of the saying).
And, what’s a good use of your time after National Unplug Day has ended?
Volunteer with a local eco-activism group.
Buy local produce only, and go to outdoor markets, if you can, since they work under the light of the sun.
Turn off and unplug electronics when you’re not using them — including the TV, cable box, and computer.