A little darkness can be eye-opening. At this weekend's Lights Out SF event, San Franciscans turned off lights at City Hall, local bars, and in their own homes for one hour to raise awareness about energy conservation. A similar event in Sydney, Australia, reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 24.86 tons. (An added benefit, as one commenter on local blog SFist.com put it: "Your fellow partygoers are much cuter by candlelight.")
Organizers are already working on a nationwide follow-up for Saturday, March 29, 2008. Also carrying the energy-conservation idea forward are members of the Sierra Club-sponsored S.F. Climate Challenge, in which teams of households compete (for some pretty nice prizes) to reduce their utility bills over the next month. Tomorrow, October 24, is the final day to sign up. Not the competitive type? You can still celebrate the remaining week of Energy Awareness Month by taking some simple actions. According to the EPA, "If every U.S. household changed a single light bulb to an Energy Star bulb, it would save enough power to light more than 2.5 million homes."