Earth Hour 2015 in Sonderborg

This is the hour where over 172 countries and territories band together in a ceremonious flipping off of the lights.

When you think “outdoor cinema”, you probably don’t associate it with words like “cold” or “wet” or “late March on the Southern Danish coast.” It’s a safe bet that you’ll never see someone look outside at a funereal congregation of black clouds and say “This is the perfect evening to watch The Wizard of Oz in the park.” But there are some situations – even those which might call for a bicycle-powered cinema projector – which cannot wait for nice weather. Especially at a time when the weather is becoming less and less predictable.

Earth Hour 2015 was imminent. This is the hour where over 172 countries and territories band together in a ceremonious flipping off of the lights. Light bulbs dimmed. TV’s snuffed out. Computer reduced to the status of paper weight, if only for a brief 60 minutes. On a rainy Saturday night in Sønderborg, most people would see a “Lights Out” type of event as a good excuse to light a few candles, or maybe even get the fireplace going full blast, and curl up with a good book. But we were there to show people something different. We wanted to show them a type of renewable energy that is the very essence of D.I.Y. We wanted to show people a type of mobility and freedom that doesn’t come at the expense of our environment. Along with our new friends at Project Zero and Wide Path Camper, we wanted to show the people of Sønderborg a different way to do things. And that kind of show must go on, rain or shine.

We didn’t end up peddling in the freezing rain all by our shivering lonesomes. In fact we were lucky enough to spend the evening with some very dedicated men, women, and children. They all took turns on the bicycle. They sat and chatted in the Wide Path bike camper. They brought us hot coffee and chocolates. The kids flitted and darted up and down the Rådhus (town hall) square as if the sun ruled supreme in the sky right then, while the adults laughed among themselves. They passed out flyers and spoke with passers-by. Those passers-by stopped and waved their friends over. They “ooo’d” and “ahhh’d” and perhaps they conjured vivid new possibilities in their minds.

These were people who loved their environment enough to actually be out in it. For them, Earth Hour wasn’t about killing the lights and snuggling cozy by candlelight with your own conveniently-won moral satisfaction. Earth Hour was an opportunity to celebrate their world by taking the fight for its preservation out into even those streets that glisten with cold rain. And celebrate we did. The lights were off, at least for the next 60 minutes. But that didn’t mean we had to sit around in the dark.

Thank you to for the story.

9. April 2015

Bicycle cinema