Remember back in November, when I developed the project to help children learn more about conserving energy, by using the new GE energy-saving light bulbs? When I put the project together, I never realized how prolific it would become in changing our families thinking on lighting and energy conservation. Before I get into that, I wanted to bring you up to speed…
It is now 2013. The incandescent light bulb law is now in affect, and 75 watt incandescent bulbs will no longer be produced. By 2014, 40 and 60 watt incandescents will be phased out as well. Consumers need to start making other (wiser) choices in the lighting they use for their homes and businesses. GE makes those decisions easier, with several options for energy-efficient lighting, such as Energy Smart CFL’s, Energy Efficient Soft Whites, and Energy Smart LED’s. The cost savings to your family will be significant, but the savings to our environment, as you will soon see, will be monumental.
Let’s be honest here. When my husband heard that incandescents would no longer be made, he was not happy…not happy at all. It’s what we’ve used all our lives, its what we are used to. Sometimes change is difficult, and my husband is not one for change. When we made our shopping trip in November, he was enthusiastic about the new GE options, yet apprehensive that he would be happy with the changes long term. After we completed my project (with some additions by my son), he is more convinced then ever that the changes we make will not only impact our family, but our son and future generations as well. He is now ready to make the change.
Although my project was set up to be done with a younger children, or with a group of kids, my family spent most of Christmas vacation sick. My visiting Mom was sick, my son was sick, and I was sick, so we were not able to have any of my sons friends come over to do the project with us. My son, who is 14, my husband, and I did the project together, but since it was a little “juvenile” for my son, he decided to expand it a little bit. He expanded our thinking too!
Little Man did the project exactly as it was presented. He was to simulate converting the lightbulbs in our ourdoors, our kitchen, living room, and his bedroom and bathroom only, not the entire house. (Although he only had to simulate it, he actually did change out several lightbulbs along his path.)
In doing so, he switched out 31 bulbs. This is about half the bulbs in our house. Being 14, he was not satisfied with the glory of winning a “virtual” gold medal, so he took the project a few steps further.
After calculating the savings we would make in each room of our house, by converting our existing lightbulbs to energy efficient bulbs, he also calculated the CO2 saved (using the GE energy savings calculator) and the amount of trees saved.
When he saw the amount of acres of trees that could be saved in a year, just by converting lightbulbs, he was amazed. A lightbulb went off (no pun intended)!
Do you understand what this means?
By switching out 31 lightbulbs in our house to GE’s energy efficient lighting…making that leap from incandescents to energy efficient LED’s or CFL’s…our own little family of three could save almost the same amount of acres of trees as every national park in the lower 48 states of the United States!