90,000 Free Bulbs Coming to Molokai
Group launches green pilot project.
Within weeks, 90,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) will be shipped to Molokai in an effort spearheaded by Blue Planet Foundation to reduce the island’s carbon footprint.
The project entitled “Go Green, Carbon Clean” (or Molokai CFL Project), will kick off with a shipment of 44,000 bulbs arriving in Molokai around the third week of March. The bulbs will be distributed to residents and businesses interested in swapping out their old-style incandescent bulbs for new, energy-efficient CFLs – at no charge.
“The mission is to make Molokai a sustainable community,” said Francois Rogers, Blue Planet Special Projects Director. “If a single island can go entirely lighting efficient, then it will be the model for other islands to do so as well.”
The island-wide energy efficiency campaign aims to have all 3,000 residential homes augmented with CFL lighting, with anywhere from 20 to 30 bulbs per home. In doing so, residents will see an immediate reduction in their energy bill, saving about $100 over one CFL’s lifetime. Compared to an incandescent bulb, an Energy Star qualified CFL uses 75 percent less energy and lasts 10 times longer. Its lifetime equals 6,000 hours or more.
If the goal is met, Molokai could be looking at cost savings of over $1.2 million in the long term.
Molokai schools are jumping aboard and will play a main role in the campaigning and distribution process. Kaunakakai Elementary School, Molokai Middle School, Molokai High School, along with Aka’ula, Kualapu’u, Kilohana and Maunaloa Schools plan on acting as points of distribution for the CFLs. Surveys are currently being handed out through the schools and to be returned March 10.
“We wanted to make this a youth-centered project,” said Heidi Jenkins, a teacher at Kaunakakai Elementary. “They will be inheriting this community, so it’s good for them to learn about these kinds of things and get across a positive message.”
Various merchants are also getting involved by creating posters and fliers, and opening their doors as exchange locations. Kimberly Svetin, from Molokai Drugs, will be overseeing these grassroot efforts and hopes to see multiple businesses join the campaign.
“Anyone who has a business should get involved with outreach and dispersal,” Svetin said. “We’re trying to make Molokai 100 percent CFL.”
The remainder of the bulbs will be shipped once surveys determine Molokai’s current energy use as well as the need for more CFLs.
“We hope to have a movement,” Rogers added. “[Blue Planet] is not here to dictate, but to support and help Molokai achieve.”