La Grange to dim the lights
Becca Klinger of Eco-Maniacs is working on a glow stick craft for kids to help them observe Earth Hour, which is from 8:30-9:30 p.m. March 23. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 22, 2013 10:52AM
LA GRANGE — From candlelight dinners to campfire simulations, businesses are offering residents and visitors choices March 23 to observe Earth Hour.
By dimming the lights and cutting down on nonessential uses of electricity from 8:30-9:30 p.m., event organizers around the world hope to raise awareness and make a collective dent in climate change, if only for one hour.
The La Grange Business Association adopted the idea as its monthly focus for March after several restaurants had observed the hour in past years.
“It’s a global movement in cities and countries around the world. It’s a big thing at Navy Pier,” said Nancy Cummings, executive director of the association.
The impetus to dim the lights for an hour started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and has since spread to 6,950 cities, including Chicago, in 152 countries.
Dining by candlelight, as well as some specials, will be offered at Fireside Wood-Fired Pizza, 18 W. Harris Ave., Francesca’s Bellezza, 75 S. La Grange Road, and Prasino, 93 S. La Grange Road.
“Earth Hour is more of an external thing to remind customers to be aware of energy use,” said Ephi Maglaris, director of marketing for Prasino. “For us, it’s kind of a year-round philosophy.”
Prasino opened in 2009 with careful selection of reclaimed building materials, energy efficient appliances and an emphasis on local food sources, Maglaris said.
“People actually look forward to Earth Hour every year,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to kind of take a step back and recognize how much we take for granted all the electricity we use.”
Other observances include McDonald’s at 100 N. La Grange Road, which is offering a small mint shake with certain purchases to go green from 3 to 9:30 p.m.
Red Mango, 81 S. La Grange Road, is giving customers glow-in-the-dark green hair and mustaches during Earth Hour.
And at Eco-Maniacs, at 74 S. La Grange Road, the Earth Hour experience won’t be strictly romantic.
“We’ll be making glow jars and having activities for families around an eco-friendly campfire,” said co-owner Becca Klinger. “I’m going to get creative with a battery-operated light and tissue paper for flames.”
Klinger said visitors will activate glow sticks and place them in a jar of water for a soft glow. Participants will play the card game S’Mores and a trivia game testing their knowledge of earth-friendly practices.
“Our entire store is eco-friendly and sustainable,” Klinger said, from the carpeting made from recycled fibers to nontoxic toys and sustainable materials for clothing and other items sold.