Energy wasting incandescent lightbulbs are so dangerously inefficient it's better for the climate (and your wallet) to smash even brand new ones rather than use them. So we got a road roller and crushed 10,000 energy wasting lightbulbs at the Brandenburg Gate, while EU and G8 ministers were meeting in Berlin today.
As G8 and EU ministers gather in Berlin to discuss energy efficiency measures, Greenpeace uses a mechanised road roller to crush ten thousand energy-wasting light bulbs at the Brandenburg Gate.
We've used this occasion to launch our campaign for tough
European efficiency standards for energy using products, and an
immediate ban on incandescent lightbulbs. If EU governments are
serious about meeting their CO2 reduction commitments, they should
at least be able to act quickly on something as simple as
Some lightbulbs are more cool than others
It's debatable whether you can call compact fluorescent
lightbulbs (CFLs) "hip", but they're definitely more cool -
literally. Incandescent bulbs waste over 90 percent of the energy
they use as heat. CFLs use five times less energy - meaning less
global warming pollution.
Newer quality CFLs also produce mellow pleasing light, and come
on right away without flickering.
According to the International Energy Agency, electrical
lighting uses 19 percent of all electricity produced - more than
all energy produced by nuclear power. Governments and even
lightbulb manufactures are already calling for an end to energy
European Union situation
As a rough calculation: Every (11 Watt) CFL saves 20kg CO2 per
year on average. So for Europe... 20kg CO2 x 1.6 billion bulbs sold
= 32 million tons CO2 potential savings per year.
By just switching from old to new lighting technology in the EU
we could close down 25 medium sized power plants (2TWh/year), and
possibly save Europe 3-5 billion euros.
On the EU level there's a process called the Ecodesign
directive, which could eventually result in effectively banning
energy wasting lightbulbs, but so far it's just talk. Rather than
waiting, EU ministers should instigate immediate national bans on
lightbulbs, and push for enforcement of an Europe-wide mandatory
efficiency standard on domestic lighting by 2010.
What you can do
The first and easiest thing is to replace your energy wasting
incandescent lightbulbs with modern CFLs. It's better to throw out
even brand new energy wasting incandescent bulbs then use them.
Switching to CFLs will reduce your personal energy use, prevent
pollution and save you some money - while sending a message to
politicians and business leaders.
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