It’s Daylight Saving Time again! And you know what that means, sunrise and sunset shift to one hour later. So whether or not you like what it does to your internal clock for the few days following the change, most people are grateful for the longer Spring and Summer nights. What do you have planned with your extra evening light?
A Brief History of DST
Why do we “spring forward” in March and “fall back” in November? Some have credited Benjamin Franklin for the idea, based on his suggestion to Parisians in 1784 to save on candle usage by getting out of bed earlier in the morning. But historians have refuted this notion, noting that Franklin never mentioned clocks in his whimsical statement, and, as it turns out, he was making a joke. The real credit goes to British builder William Willet, who started pushing the idea of preserving evening daylight way back in 1905, and doggedly pursued the concept until it formally reached Parliament as a bill in 1909. DST was finally adopted in the United Kingdom in the Spring of 1916, and two years later in the U.S., in March 1918. With a few changes over time, most in the U.S. still adhere to it.
Why We Still Spring Forward
Ironically, for those places that participate in the DST experience, we are in Daylight Saving longer than we are in Daylight Standard, nearly eight months versus just over four months, respectively. The purpose of the shift from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November was, and still is, for humans to enjoy the most daylight possible during the time of year that the sun shines the longest. Since most people must jump into their daily routine first thing in the morning, no matter what time of year it is, the extra hour of morning sunlight largely goes unexploited during Spring/Summer. But shift that hour of light to the evening, when most of us can really take advantage of it, and DTS makes perfect sense.
Making the Most of the Daylight
Wondering how you can make use of the sudden extra hour of evening daylight? Here are a few ideas to jumpstart your DST season.
- Plant some flowers – Depending on the temperatures where you live, it may be time to start your Springtime planting. The emergence of flower blossoms always signifies a fresh start.
- Take an evening stroll – During the winter months, it’s easy to talk yourself out of a walk after a full day at work. But the extra daylight may be just what you need to start a new healthy habit.
- Attend an outdoor sporting event – Major League Baseball teams are in Spring Training and Major League Soccer is underway, not to mention many youth sports that have taken to the outdoors by March.
- Watch the sunrise – Now that the sun is rising an hour later, and you’re probably already up, it’s the perfect time to have coffee on the patio, porch, or deck and soak in the marvel of a sunrise.
- Plan your first camping trip of the year – Unless you’re a diehard winter camper, it’s a good time to starting dusting off the camping gear for the season ahead. Spend some time after work evaluating what you have and what you are going to need this year when you set out on your first camping adventure of 2019.
- Ready your outdoor space for Spring – As long as you aren’t still under a foot of snow, it’s time to shake off the patio furniture covers and get your outdoor living space livable again. In addition to the obvious clean-up (sweeping, wiping down furnishings and decorative items, and fixing or tossing any broken items), consider adding a new, colorful accent, such as pillows or plants, to refresh your space. Add a heater, if there is still a chill in the air, or some washable throws to provide that extra layer of warmth until the temperatures steady out.
For more ideas about expanding your living space outdoors, we are full of suggestions, especially when it comes to adding a luxury pergola. You can reach us at www.struXure.com.