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The Buzz on Bulbs

Q&A with Blue Planet Foundation

UPDATE: Blue Planet Foundation’s ‘Go Green & Carbon Clean’ website is up and running: http://greenmolokai.org/ Check out their list of distribution points.

Q: When will the first shipment of bulbs arrive and how can I get them?

A: The first shipment of 44,000 bulbs will arrive on March 25 and will be available for exchange through various merchants, including Molokai Drugs, churches and organizations. Beginning March 27, teachers, students and parents will have the opportunity to exchange their bulbs through their school campus. Exchange hours will vary depending on each school and business. Detailed information will be made available on the project’s website, www.greenmolokai.org.

Q: How many bulbs can I exchange?

A: You can exchange as many bulbs as you like. However, it will be a 1-1 ratio. For as many new compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) you receive, you have to turn in the same amount of incandescent bulbs.

Q: Am I required to fill out a survey in order to exchange bulbs?

A: No. The survey is a separate vehicle for determining the amount of energy used on Molokai and a general census of how many bulbs each household contains. So far, 400 of the 3,000 surveys have been collected, but anyone still interested in participating in the survey may do so. Online access of the survey will be made available soon.

Q: What’s the difference between light emitting diodes (LED), CFL and incandescent bulbs?

A: LEDs are even more energy-efficient than CFLs, using about 1/10 of the energy of an old-style incandescent bulb. At this point in time, however, LEDs are substantially more expensive than your average CFL. As of yet, the most practical, cost-efficient way to reduce lighting energy is by replacing your incandescent bulbs with CFLs.

Q: How are Molokai schools involved with this project?

A: The idea for this project was to make it as youth-centered as possible. Students participating in the project are researching and gaining valuable knowledge about harmful carbon emissions and energy-efficiency, and will be passing along this information to the community through a series of campaign movements. Not only are they involved with the distribution process, but with all educational aspects, as well. Teachers and students are embracing these ideas by creating flyers, posters and handouts that will educate the community on the economic and environmental value of saving energy, while providing tips on how to take further action with energy-efficiency.

Q: How will the old incandescent bulbs be disposed and is it safe for the environment?

A:
Today, incandescent light bulbs are disposed through normal trash collection and into a landfill that is properly lined with plastic to prevent any chemicals from seeping through. Molokai’s landfill is appropriately lined according to state regulations, and will therefore not be harmful to the environment.

Q: How will the CFLs be disposed once they have reached their maximum lifetime?

A: Blue Planet Foundation is currently working with the County of Maui to develop a CFL recycle plan for the island of Molokai.

Answers were provided by Francois Rogers, Blue Planet special projects director.

More information can be found in other Dispatch articles: 90,000 Free Bulbs Coming to Molokai and New Bulbs for a New Future. Stay tuned for more CFL coverage!

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