On the weekend, I met up with my friends Nathalie and Reece, who had spent the day running around Sydney filming a campaign to get Malcolm Turnbull to turn off the lights in his house. This did not surprise me, given that I am blessed with a beautifully odd and creative group of friends, but in this case there was a reason for it. You see, the request wasn’t for just any night: they had a specific date in mind to ask our Prime Minister to go dark… March 19.
Earth Hour’s incandescent annual initiative takes place once again and I’m afraid it’s one of those things that requires a bit of team effort. A few households here and there may not have the same visual impact as turning the Sydney CBD off completely, so it’s a coordinated front that will do the trick. The reasons for why we should care are quite frankly at this stage a given, but you can head to earthhour.org.au to refresh yourselves.
So how does this relate to food? That lights go out for the night is merely the visual representation of conserving energy and therefore, in supporting the climate change cause, it should probably also be kitchens off as well (especially if your stove happens to be electric). In the lead up to the 19th, may I suggest getting in touch with some friends and making a night of it? A dinner party or picnic by candlelight makes everyone look better, so embrace it.
The lack of stove use is also a great way of getting creative with cooking using low energy principles. Raw food might sound scary, but think laterally and you’ve got everything from a Japanese feast to a raw vegan delight. If you prefer your proteins cooked, consider one pot wonders (which also save on energy washing up), or the fact that cooking for more people in one go is often more energy efficient than cooking fewer portions of food.
Tackling a concept such as climate change can feel scary and far too big for us to address on our own, but that’s where we need to stop and realise how very important our individual contributions can be. By shifting our thinking, gathering friends to the notion, and dammit, having a little creative fun with it, suddenly we’re doing something we should… and it’s not nearly as scary as accepting our eventual reality if we don’t do something about it on a cellular level… like, right now.