Bright idea: Campus to give away energy-efficient lightbulbs

Green Campus interns Francesca Benedetti, left, and Rachel Shiozaki, right, check out PG&E's lightbulb goody bags with Ian McDonald, Physical Plant energy analyst.

UCSC and PG&E think you can change the world by changing a lightbulb.

The university and the company are partnering to join the Energy Star Change a Light, Change the World Campaign, a movement to encourage people to help make a difference one energy-saving step at a time.

The nationwide campaign aims to build community, save energy, and help fight global warming through the use of energy-efficient lighting technology.

During October, campus representatives will distribute up to 5,000 compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) donated by PG&E to the campus community. The giveaway is being conducted by the Green Campus Program, which is made up of four student interns (Francesca Benedetti, Rachel Shiozaki, Katie Landeros and David Chang), in coordination with UCSC.

The giveaway is a good awareness-builder, said Patrick Testoni, Physical Plant energy manager.

"The fact PG&E is giving them away for free will have a big impact," he said.

Testoni estimated the 5,000 CFLs given away on campus would prevent 200,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere per year, the equivalent of taking 17 vehicles off the road.

The CFLs being handed out are certified by Energy Star, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy joint program, last 6-10 times longer than regular incandescent lightbulbs, use 75 percent less energy than ordinary bulbs, and individually can prevent more than 400 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over their lifetime.

Green Campus interns will give away these bulbs in compostable goody bags containing informational handouts, energy-saving tip sheets, and instructions for proper bulb disposal. In exchange, participants must sign the Energy Star "Change a Light" pledge.

The interns will be at the following times, dates, and locations:

  • 8-10:45 a.m. October 15 and 31 at Quarry Plaza (Bay Tree Bookstore);

  • 8-10:45 a.m. October 17 at 2300 Delaware Ave. lobby;

  • 8-10:45 a.m. October 22 at Interdisciplinary Sciences and Physical Sciences lobbies;

  • 8-10:45 a.m. October 24 at Jack Baskin School of Engineering and Earth & Marine Sciences lobbies;

  • 8-10:45 a.m. October 29 at Hahn Student Services and OPERS;

  • 4-6 p.m. October 26 and 30 at CASFS Farm & Garden Market Cart (main entrance).

Faculty, staff, and students are invited to participate in this campaign and continue UCSC's strong commitment to the environment.

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