Twice a year the discussion comes up about Daylight Saving Time and whether it’s time to do away with it. However, as of now it’s still in effect so most of us spring forward as requested. Sunday, March 12, is the designated day this year.
Newspapers, TV reporters and church bulletins all remind us to “spring forward” and set our clocks an hour ahead as we go into Daylight Saving Time, but you may wonder why we go to the trouble. If setting clocks, sleep disruptions or forgetting the change altogether and showing up at church an hour late seem like unnecessary irritations, consider these little known facts.
First proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, Daylight Saving Time (the officially correct name, not Savings) is adopted in all states except Hawaii, parts of Indiana, and Arizona (except for the Navajo Indian Reservation, which does observe DST). Over the years studies have proven that we save thousands of barrels of oil per day during DST due to decreased use of electricity. More evening daylight also decreases traffic accidents and exposure to the types of crime usually committed after dark.
So although the counter arguments and debates continue, we have to admit there may be some real benefits besides those lazy, summer outdoor evenings we all look forward to enjoying.
Still, if Daylight Saving Time annoys you, think of other ways you might spring forward that you actually enjoy!
Maybe this year you’d like to spring forward down the sidewalk as you take up a new exercise routine. Once around the block is a good start, and by the end of summer you may find out you enjoy walking so much you’re going several miles.
Spring forward into a new hobby. Preferably one you’ve been thinking about for a long time but never made it a priority. Good advice with any new venture is to dip your toe in the water before diving in. Is your new hobby watercolor painting? Take a class at a local community center before investing in a lifetime supply of paints and canvases. You can always invest later once you know you love it.
Getting a start on gardening will help you spring forward toward summer. Even in colder climates seeds or bulbs can be started in windowsill containers and as the tiny shoots begin to grow our hopes for the warmer season to come grow with them. However you spring forward this year, don’t dismay about that lost hour. We get it back in the fall.
First published in The Country Register, March-April 2023.