Data from Australia-based Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund (CNCF) showed that 1 kWh of electricity emits over 2 pounds of carbon dioxide.
To reduce carbon emissions, the University of California initiated the movement to buy light bulbs for campus buildings and residences in the state. The action was backed by studies stating that LED bulbs significantly reduced carbon emissions in the past years. Photo By: John Jones | Flickr
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To contribute in lessening the planet’s carbon footprint, the University of California proposed acquiring a million light bulbs under its Community Buy Program. The initiative encouraged the UC community to take part by buying light bulbs that the project initiators would sell at a low price.

Data from Australia-based Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund (CNCF) showed that 1 kWh of electricity emits over 2 pounds of carbon dioxide. The study reflects the power used in a coal-burning power plant.

Environment experts recommend using LED bulbs as a light source. It lessens energy consumption by 90 percent and lasts 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Therefore, replacing LED lights is only necessary after about 17 years of use. LED lights also promote recycling because it uses 100 percent reused materials.

London-based IHS Markit studied in 2017 that LED bulbs successfully reduced 570 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Specific lighting brands such as Nichia, LG, and Samsung were among those that contributed to this environment-saving movement by selling LED lights.

Last January, California set efficiency benchmarks for the sale of light bulbs. Because there are many kinds of LED bulbs, the California Million Light Bulb Challenge members collected criteria that UC buildings could use and that the community could purchase. Aside from reducing carbon footprint, the project also aimed to save people’s time which they often use for guessing which LED bulb would work best.

Throughout the pendency of the challenge, several types of LED lights such as A-lamps, PAR-lamps, and downlights. These cost 46 percent less than those sold by online sellers.

The project heads also collaborated with the California Energy Commission to make sure that the bulbs they will be selling and giving away would adhere to quality and efficiency standards. During the first phase of the initiative, companies such as the Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc. and LEDVANCE donated some of their product to help the project’s committee. Aside from light bulbs, the UC community will also receive educational materials regarding purchase decisions.

The UC Office of the President’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative spearheads the movement. The team aims to gradually replace light bulbs and achieve zero levels of greenhouse gas by 2025.

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