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New Bulbs for a New Future

Molokai to get an environmental makeover.

It’s no secret that up to 90,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) will be flooding the homes and businesses of Molokai over the next two months in a joint venture to promote energy efficiency. And although this new effort is as ambitious as it is inspiring, it begs one question: Why Molokai?

It all began with the Blue Line Project in October 2009. Blue Planet Foundation, who is providing Molokai with the free bulbs, partnered with Molokai teachers, students and organizations in a project designed to target the impact of predicted sea level rise on Hawaiian coastlines.

Molokai community members involved with the Blue Line Project wanted to take further action in energy efficiency and extend it to Molokai.

Several teachers and community members reached out to Blue Planet Foundation in November 2009 for support and assistance with getting the movement off the ground and into the Molokai community. Once Blue Planet accepted, the “Go Green and Carbon Clean” project was born.

“We’re really excited for Molokai and want to see them achieve [energy efficiency],” said Francois Rogers, Blue Planet special projects director.

The project is not only an effort between Blue Planet Foundation and the Molokai community, but also involves 21st Century Community Learning Center, who is paying for the shipment of the bulbs, and SustAINAble Molokai – an organization whose mission is to develop indigenous education systems by revitalizing natural and cultural resources.

During the months of March and April, students will be creating posters and fliers to educate the public on the effects of harmful carbon emissions. Beginning March 27, these students will be campaigning and promoting awareness during Saturday markets in Kaunakakai; businesses, churches, schools and other organizations will also partake in the endeavors as distribution points for the bulbs.

“A key thing to remember is the bulbs will be available for exchange,” said Heidi Jenkins, third and fourth grade teacher at Kaunakakai School. “You must donate your old [incandescent] light bulbs for the new CFLs.”

Blue Planet Foundation, based in Oahu, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help Hawaii become a more sustainable entity by replacing its dependence on imported oil, coal and gas with clean, efficient energy sources.

Future Savings
If Molokai were to go 100 percent CFL efficient (meaning up to 90,000 bulbs replaced) these could be the potential group savings, as well as the individual savings:

•    $20 to $40 a month per household
•    Up to $200 per bulb over its 10-year lifetime (per household)
•    Up to $1.8 million annually (collective savings of island)
•    Up to $18 million within nine to 10 years (collective savings of island)

Read up on CFLs and Molokai with the Dispatch: 90,000 Free Bulbs Coming to Molokai and The Buzz on Bulbs

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