Tonight's the night so turn off lights

THERE'S plenty of things you can do with the lights off for 30 minutes during The Observer's Turn Your Lights Off For The Planet campaign tonight.

At 8pm, many homes in Gladstone, Rockhampton and Mackay will be plunged into darkness for 30 minutes all for the environment.

The event coincides with the publication of the Green Earth Guide in today's Observer.

The free handy guide is part of our commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainability of our region and will provide you with tips, hints and ideas about just how easy it is to live a greener life.

Here are some ideas we've come up with when you do your part for the environment and switch off tonight - and we'd love to hear what your family gets up to.

Play hide-and-seek. It's much more fun without lights on.

Take a tape-recorder earlier in the day and read a story on it. Play the tape recorder in the dark - it's kind of like listening to stories on the radio in the good old days.

If you have a swimming pool - have a go at playing Marco Polo in the dark.

Take turns in applying make-up in the dark and then see who's done the best/worst job when the lights come back on.

Only allow talk in rhymes during lights-off. If you can't make it rhyme - you've committed a crime. Punishment may vary, but try making it scary.

Make a fondue (cheese or chocolate) with tea lights for heat.

Do a treasure hunt with torches.

Play cards by candlelight.

Spotlight animals/insects in your backyard or a nearby nature reserve or park.

Mix mystery cocktails and see if you can guess what's in them.

Write out your Christmas card list or wish list.

Stage a dark dance fest using an iPod.

Prepare desserts on the barbecue, maybe grilled banana or other fruits to serve with ice-cream.

Be neighbourly: Use the 30 minutes to get to know your neighbours better.

Take a bath& throw in some bath bombs, light some scented candles, turn on some relaxing music and have 30 minutes of pure relaxation.