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Thursday, July 27, 2006

FEATURE: Christmas Lights Campaign

Gandhi once famously said that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. He also apparently commented that if we each bring light to one dark corner then the world will be full of light. Finally Gandhi tells us that we must Be the change.

The Christmas Lights campaign seeks to help you achieve all three things: make a positive change to our world, start putting any green guilt you carry around to rest and finally, but perhaps most importantly, this campaign will help all of us be the change one dark corner at a time.

Based on the Question I asked that Jen replied to we are delighted to announce the official launch of the Christmas Lights campaign.

The goal of the campaign is to encourage as many people and businesses as possible to pledge that this 'Christmas / Chanukah / Kwanzaa / Holiday Season / Whatever' they will buy CFL bulbs for friends and family or employees thus increasing efficiency, lowering emissions and helping to gently educate people as to the benefits of CFL bulbs.

For each employee or person you buy gifts for over the holiday season, please pledge (via the comments below) to buy one compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb for them as well. Add it on as an extra or take it out the gift money you were gonna spend on them - whatever suits you.

In your pledge we want to know how many bulbs you pledge to gift.


Additionally, you can help us spread the word and tell others about the campaign via:

- your own blog using our WordofBlog campaign tile

- email using the PDF that will be here shortly or just direct them to this post

- or just good old fashioned word of mouth

We will keep a tally of how many people participate and how many bulbs are pledged.

Our target is to get pledges for 100,000 bulbs as this would reduce global CO2 emissions by approximately 50,000 to 62,500 tons – the equivalent of offsetting approximately 2000-2500 US citizens or 4000-5000 UK citizens entirely for a whole year. (Extrapolated from here)

For each incandescent bulb you replace with a CFL, you can save approximately 1000 to 1250 pounds of CO2 from being added to the atmosphere during the life of the bulb.

Each bulb can save you over $30 or £16 pounds over the life of the bulb in energy costs. That's because CFLs use 75% less energy and produce 90% less heat than incandescent bulbs.

CFLs are a gift that keeps on giving in money saved.

Do you have complicated or hard to reach light fixtures? CFLs can last 10,000 hours – 8 to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, which means a lot less labor and time spent on ladders and chairs.

An added bonus is that CFLs are safer than incandescents – they're cool to the touch and are less likely to cause burns or fires – although make sure you buy high watt CFLs to ensure they provide enough light for the person you are buying for. Here are some wattage equivalents for you:

15W CFL = 60W regular bulb
20W CFL = 75W regular
29W CFL = 100W regular
40W CFL = 150W regular
55W CFL = 250-300W regular
(figures from GE Lighting website)

"To maximize savings, use CFLs in places where lights are on for long periods of time. Frequent switching on and off will shorten the CFL's life."

"CFLs contain four milligrams of mercury, approximately half the mercury found in a linear fluorescent lamp. Mercury vapour will only be released when the lamp is broken while operating. Most lamp manufacturers offer a "low mercury" or environmentally friendly lamp. The green socket or end cap identifies these lamps."

Taken from the Earth Day Network

We look forward to your participation and to a very Bright Holiday season thanks to all our Christmas Lights


Al (CityHippy) & Jenni (Green Jenni)

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At 6:41 AM, Blogger City Hippy said...

I will kick things off and pledge to buy 20 bulbs for folks.

20 down, only 99,800 to go ;)



At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great idea! Small steps x lots of people = amazing results.

I just did a post recently about cutting out non-recycled household paper products and the huge impact that has too, post below.

Huggs, G

At 8:46 PM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Just found this in the Nelson Community Website thanks to Geraldine Hartman.

Change a bulb – Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb will save 70 kilograms of carbon dioxide a year. If every household in Canada changed just one incandescent light bulb to an Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent light, Canadians would save over $73 million in energy costs every year. It would reduce greenhouse gases by 397,000 tonnes per year – equivalent to taking 66,000 cars off the road.

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Al,

Maybe you should use pledgebank to pledge to buy 20 bulbs, but only if 100 other people agree to buy at least one, or something?

Also, check out the solar lighting charity I mentioned at lunch when you told me about this xmas lights idea:

At 4:46 PM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Turns out that Gandhi may not have said It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. I have managed to source it to: a Chinese Proverb, Carl Sagan and Adlai Stevenson (1900-65), praising Eleanor Roosevelt.

Am sure others have said it...

Thanks to for the spot.

At 1:48 AM, Blogger felicia said...

I'm pledging 10 thus far! And I'll post the cause on my website ASAP.
Cheers, Felicia

At 9:15 PM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Thanks Felicia, much appreciated...



At 9:38 PM, Blogger Me-me said...

Gotta be honest guys, our electrical power generator here uses wind so I won't be saving any of my neighbors one ounce of pollution. To top it off, CFLs are loaded with mercury so I am just encouraging the production of more mercury whish I wouldn't want to do. Nope, I'll keep on using electroluminescent and LEDs in my house.

At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will pledge 20 bulbs and have begun a Christmas Lights Campaign give-away in my online store Taraluna - Fair Trade, Organic & Green Gifts (located in California) We are giving away 18 watt (75 watt equivalent) bulbs with purchase of $50.00 or you can buy them for $3.00 each. Convenient as we are a gift site so when people do their holiday gift shopping they can also get free or low cost bulbs.

This is an easy and painless way to make a difference. We will keep you posted on how many pledge, buy or get free bulbs. Thanks for the great idea, we hope to get lots of pledges and light up the world with energy efficient “Holiday Lights.”

We also have information regarding mercury (less mercury goes into the atmosphere with CFL's, and as long as they are properly disposed of they pose no threat to earth or animal...including us).

At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Al,

We now have the printable CFL facts/gift card up at Taraluna.


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