Do the bright thing, when not in use, douse the juice

You Light Up My Life Day   

Friday,  March 12, 2004

9 AM to 5 PM

Lobby 10  

Promoting energy conservation on MIT’s campus...

What you can do today

•    shut off or dim your lights for just one hour between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.

•    visit Lobby 10 displays to learn about the benefits of switching from incandescent or halogen bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL)
•    help place "douse the juice" stickers in your dorm if you live in Baker, Bexley, Burton-Conner, East Campus, MacGregor, McCormick, New House, Next House, Random Hall and Simmons Hall. The first dorm in this list to properly place 100 stickers in their dorm will win a pizza party. Contact Elke Hodson for more information.

sponsored by: Students for Global Sustainability (SfGS), Dept. of Facilities, Dept. of Housing


Why conserve energy?

Comprising only 5% of the global population, Americans consume 25% of the earth's energy. **

Every 
American consumes over 10,000 kilowatts-hours of electricity, nearly 10 times the average of the rest of the world. **

It’s often easy to forget that our energy resources are not limitless.  Electricity flows from our outlets, gasoline pumps effortlessly into our cars and the world around us hums and purrs mechanically as we push a button or turn a key.  But our complacency with a steady stream of energy and fuel is an illusion, rendered slightly more apparent by the massive power grid failure in the northeast last August.  Subsequent discussion should have focused on how cutting our needs for energy would reduce the load on the grid to help prevent future collapse.  Being a responsible consumer includes healthy and mindful attitudes towards energy consumption.

One
simple way you can reduce your electricity consumption, in addition to dousing the juice, is to switch from regular light bulbs to compact flourescent light bulbs.

Incandescent light bulbs turn 90% of the energy they consume into heat but only 10% into light. **

Compact flourescent light bulbs (CFL) last over 10 times as long as conventional incandescent light bulbs, use 1/4 the electricity, and provide the same warm color quality. **

CFL vs regular incandescent bulbs
CFL bulbs last 10 times longer + use less energy + save you money

By using less energy, CFL bulbs save you money, cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, and increase energy security. One bulb will save you over $25 during its lifetime.

Do the math:
Type of bulb
60 Watt Regular
15 Watt CFL
Price of one bulb 
$0.50
$5.00
 Number of bulbs purchased in 5 yrs 
8
1
Total cost of bulbs
$4.00
$5.00
Total cost of electricity*
$36.00
$9.00
YOUR TOTAL COST 
$40.00
$14.00
*assuming 100 hrs/month of use at 10¢/kWh

If you are still curious about the differences between CFL and incandescent bulbs, check here. Remember: CFL bulbs are much brighter than regular bulbs with the same wattage. If you are replacing a 60-Watt regular bulb, look for a 12- or 15-Watt CFL bulb.   

All fluorescent light bulbs have tiny amounts of mercury in them.  Although you can throw CFL bulbs in normal household rash in MA, you should dispose of them as you would other household hazardous waste products such as paint or batteries.  Do the negative effects of mercury outweigh the energy benefits?  No. The US EPA states that given a choice between CFL and ordinary incandescent bulbs, CFL bulbs are better because they save money, conserve energy, reduce landfill waste, and reduce coal-fired power plant emissions.

** Rocky Mountain Institute **