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How many light bulbs does it take to change the world?
Keep Liberty Beautiful
KLCB Award
The Keep Liberty County Beautiful Program has received a Keep America Beautiful National Sponsor Recognition Photo Award for this photo from the 2007 Great American Cleanup in Liberty County. The picture was taken at a cleanup in Arlington Park neighborhood in Hinesville. The Keep Liberty County Beautiful Program received a $200 cash award from Glad Trash Bags, one of the national sponsors for the Great American Cleanup. - photo by Photo provided.
Want to hear a "bright idea?" Let me tell you about the ENERGY STAR Change a Light Campaign.
The national campaign encourages Americans to help change the world one light, one energy-saving step, at a time. You can show your commitment by pledging to replace at least one light in your home with one that has the ENERGY STAR label. This is one of those simple steps you can take to make a difference for the environment and save your money at the same time.
If you have bought appliances in the last several years, you are probably familiar with ENERGY STAR. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to help us save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. In 1992, the EPA introduced ENERGY STAR as a voluntary labeling program to identify and promote energy-efficient products.
Computers and monitors were the first labeled products. The label is now on more than 50 product categories including major appliances, office equipment, lighting, and home electronics. EPA has also extended the label now to cover new homes and other buildings.
The pledge is simple: "I pledge to do my part to save energy and help to reduce the risks of global climate change by replacing one light in my home with an ENERGY STAR qualified one." The campaign began in October.
I first learned about it on a display in our local Georgia Power office. Georgia Power, by the way, has led the nation in pledges by surpassing a goal of 80,000. The utility currently has 81,982 pledges and counting. The state leads the nation in the number of pledges as well with 188,166 pledges.
So, take that, all of you greenies in California!
Utilities like Georgia Power, are not the only ones encouraging people to take the pledge. Scouts and youth groups, civic organizations, governments and churches are encouraging people to make a difference.
Nationally, 1,271,270 green-minded individuals have pledged to change out 4,330,129 bulbs. This change will save 1,221,096,265 killowatt hours of energy, prevent an estimated 1,771,022,597 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. It will also save $113,561,953 in energy costs. That's pretty significant!
If you would like to take the challenge, check out or the display at Georgia Power on Highway 84. The Web site also has information on ENERGY STAR bulbs like CFLs. CFL stands for compact fluorescent lamp, which is a small fluorescent light bulb that uses 75 percent less energy and creates 75 percent less heat than a traditional incandescent bulb. It can be screwed into a regular light socket. Qualified bulbs labeled "warm white" or "soft white" produce light like typical incandescent light bulbs.
CFLs do have a small amount of mercury in them, but there is information on the website for handling and using these bulbs. We will be offering opportunities to recycle these bulbs at our periodic Recycle It! Fairs so you can dispose of them properly. These bulbs last a long time, though, so you won't have to worry about changing bulbs often. Yes, the initial cost is higher, but they last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
The energy used in the average home can be responsible for more than twice the greenhouse gas emissions of the average car. When you use less energy at home, you reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Isn't changing a few light bulbs that you use the most a small price to pay to protect the environment? Evidently, it is for more than a million households so far.
But, if you are still not convinced, think about this. The typical household spends $1,900 a year on energy. Lighting accounts for 20 percent of that. So, do the math! CFLs could really make a difference in your own electrical bill.

For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact Swida at 368-4888 or
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