Celebrate the Eclipse with a Solar Powered Party
The switch to solar power often spreads by word-of-mouth. However, finding THE best way to convince people to make better choices is often of interest to researchers. Should we use peer pressure? Educate them? Provide incentives? The jury is still out and we will likely never find a single way to convince every person, so what shall we do in the meantime? Say you’ve switched your own energy source to renewables, you’re promoting the option in your city, and you champion policies that make it preferable — what now? I humbly suggest that it’s the perfect time to party.
“It means you can have a disco in every room of your house.” — Timothy Morton
Timothy Morton, a philosopher and chair at Rice University, believes in the interdependence of humans and what we call "nature." This may not seem revolutionary to some, but it is counter to how modern society has oriented our place in the natural world. Morton also believes that by causing the Anthropocene epoch, we have finally become self-aware of the impact of our reckless actions. In rethinking our orientation within the universe, he insists that, “If we give up the delusion of controlling everything around us, we might refocus ourselves on the pleasure we take in other beings and life itself.” He recently converted his home outside Houston to wind-generated electricity and told The Guardian, “After a day or two of ‘feeling very righteous and holy,’ he realised he could now have ‘full-on strobes and decks and people partaying for hours and hours, all day, every day,’ while causing far less damage to the planet. ‘And that’s the ecological future, actually.’”
I read this and a lightbulb (LED, of course) went off in my head. Morton's rationalization for partying got me thinking more positively than I had felt capable of lately. What if by living more in line with ecological systems like solar and wind, we could live the maximalist life he was hinting at? Maybe instead of always urging deprivation in service to sustainability, we could cheer on the infinite energy of the sun to power our best lives. At a time when there seems to be nothing but bad news, I am clinging to this positive spin and ask you to consider it as well.
This month’s total solar eclipse seems like a worthy and timely way to celebrate the concept. If you are within the August 21st eclipse path, consider throwing a party to have some fun and spread the gospel of solar. You can make or buy solar powered lights. Find beautiful solar powered glass lights here and here and cute ladybug ones here. There's a solar grill for all your vegan meats. Solar powered coolers, speakers, chargers, and these solar shades will take you through the eclipse and into the night!
Of course this setup takes some upfront investment, but if you have the means it's a fun way to promote renewable energy. If your group is community-minded and your place is the official party pad, consider taking up donations to do it right. Remembering that solar investment is spread by word-of-mouth, during and after the party show off your sun-powered gear to get your friends interested in changing their own energy habits for the better. We can all be part of a sunnier future!
🌓 There's a total solar eclipse in the U.S. on August 21. Put in your zip code here and find out how much of the eclipse you’ll see where you live. 🌓