Five Texas mayors of 5 major cities: Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and El Paso participated in a news conference together this past Friday in which they lit up an energy saver bulb for their city. This lighting of the fluorescent lights was a significant move towards energy efficiency in Texas. The light bulbs, with their significant squiggly shape use 80% LESS energy than your average bulb and can last up to a decade!
Mayor Cox of El Paso stated that if every Texas household converted a single light bulb to a CFL, it would mean the equivalent in air pollution reductions of removing 55,000 cars from city streets. Implementation of the ‘state bulb of Texas’ would also cut costs used to build expensive power plants thus elimating carbon dioxide from power plant emissions; the main gas blamed for global warming.
Though compact fluorescent lightbulbs cost about 20% more than the average bulb, the benefits definitely outweigh the costs. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) can save electricity bill payers a substantial amount on their monthly bill. Savings calculated in the blog site below came to about $16 per billing cycle. Now that’s huge savings! http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/10/29/how-much-do-compact-fluorescent-bulbs-really-cost/
It isn’t “childish” for a mayor to ask a city to turn off unnecessary lights for one hour of one day. Rather, it makes the city residents more detail oriented when it comes to conserving energy. Just imagine the amount of harmful emmissions and energy saved from shutting off lights for one hour. Now think about 1 day, 1 month, and years down the line. It takes a collaborative effort to make a difference.
Being green and conserving energy should be an ongoing practice and area of opportunity for cities. Residents still have personal autonomy when it comes to choosing their energy providers. Austin is a great city for learning more about energy deregulation and how to research to benefit your consumption needs. Check out www.texasrose.org for more information.
If we can all make changes and contribute to this collaborative effort it may cost us the extra few dollars in the beginning, but the bulbs can last up to ten years, and in one billing cycle you’ve already evened out the extra cost.
So, who doesn’t like to save money and help better the environment at the same time? The earth has not always been in such a fragile condition, and the problems of global warming and non-renewable energy resources did not occur overnight. Nor can they be reversed overnight. Even if it’s a small change (like changing your household lightbulbs to CFL’s) it still makes a huge difference and can help preserve our world for us, as well as for decades to come.