Go Green Or Go Home, Part I

Last modified on May 26th, 2008

As most of you remember, last year I threw the environmental gauntlet down and challenged all my readers to replace their old, energy inefficient incandescent light-bulbs with the newer CFL variant. Many of my friends and readers quickly went to work and replaced many of the bulbs in their houses, some even going as far to replace every single one. I replaced most of the ones in my apartment, and probably save on average of about 0.3kWh every day in my place alone.

I actually started a Flickr group for this purpose last year to help motivate people. I was a bit surprised to go into it tonight and see people still adding photos into it.

The first thing I’d like to do is re-open last year’s challenge. CFL light-bulbs are energy efficient, and reduce the energy requirements per light-bulb by approximately 75%. That means a typical 60W light bulb will run around 15-17W while giving out the same amount of light. By replacing most incandescent light-bulbs in your home with CFL versions you will, on average, reduce CO2 emissions by 500 lbs in a given year. Just for one household.

So, here’s the official challenge:

  • Walk around your house and make a list of incandescent light-bulbs that you can replace
  • Go to the store and pick up CFL (compact florescent lights) versions that have the same output as the versions you are replacing (if you have a dimmer light, you’ll need a special CFL bulb, so be careful about that
  • Replace your lights, and feel really good about it!
  • Come back here and leave a comment telling me how many lights you replaced and what the wattages were
  • If you have a camera, then post some photographic proof into the CFL lightbulb challenge Flickr group. Also, become a member and watch what others are doing

Instead of just doing this for fun, I’m going to make this an official competition this year. That means not only is there going to be a few winners, but there are also going to be prizes. You’ll be judged based on a) whether or not you spread the word about this, either by a blog or some other means (be creative – you’ll get points not just for you, but for others you inspire as well) b) how much energy you reduce on a permanent basis and c) other green initiatives that I’ll bring up later. If you do anything that you think is environmentally friendly, please let me know via a comment and I’ll factor it in somehow. I’ll probably normalize everything to global CO2 reductions and tally it all that way.

I’m going to be creating a leaderboard once things get rolling, and you’ll be able to see, via my blog, who the big winners are on a daily basis. I’m going to trust that nobody will cheat, since this is an important cause, and we’re all adults. Photographic proof of changes is always nice, but I’ll take your word for it if you say you implemented something. Also, if you heard about the challenge via someone else (or their blog), let me know that as well, and I’ll count some of your contributions towards their final score.

In terms of prizes, I’m going to try and make them as big as possible by approaching some people in Vancouver. If you can donate something of value (> $50), then please drop me an email and let me know, or forward this entry onto others who might be able to.

So get to it and change those bulbs! I’ll set a tentative end date for this competition as June 30th.