Problem: Climate change is fueled by our over-consumption of CO2-producing fossil fuels. When we use electricity that is generated by coal-fired power plants, large amounts of CO2 are released into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps the sun’s heat in our atmosphere and contributes to climate change.

Impact on Louisiana: The earth is warming as a result of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. This accelerates the melting of ice in the Arctic Circle and Antarctica, which causes rising sea levels around the world. In Louisiana, rising sea levels are contributing to the loss of about 16 square miles of land each year. Scientists also warn that the intensity of hurricanes may increase as a result of warmer oceans. 

So although becoming energy-efficient—through replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs, for example—can have a big positive impact on your pocketbook, its benefits are even more widespread than that. The future of the planet literally depends on whether or not we are able to ween ourselves off inefficient, heavy-polluting energy sources such as petroleum and coal.

Solution: Energy efficiency
Since 2007, Green Light New Orleans has replaced more than 600,000 incandescent light bulbs in the Greater New Orleans area with energy-efficient CFL and LED bulbs.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and LD's use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Switching from incandescents to CFLs is one easy step every household can take to immediately reduce their energy use and environmental impact.
Since 2007, Green Light New Orleans has replaced more than 600,000 incandescent light bulbs in the Greater New Orleans area with energy-efficient CFL and LED bulbs. This has resulted in a reduction in energy consumption of 237 million kWh of electricity and has prevented 269 million lbs. of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

Green Light’s programs aim to show that individual actions repeated many thousands of times can have a significant impact on our environment. The light bulb program has successfully illustrated that exact point, but just because light bulbs have been successfully adopted by tens of thousands of New Orleanians, that does not mean our work is over. We all have a part to play in creating a more energy-efficient, sustainable community. 

Between the 27,000 homes that Green Light has provided light bulbs to and the homes that adopted energy-efficient bulbs on their own, CFLs and LEDs are in wide usage in Orleans Parish today. Due to funding restrictions our work was mostly concentrated to Orleans Parish in the past few years. Thanks to a donation from Sylvania/Ledvance we are now able to offer light bulbs to surrounding parishes again. 

Take action: Sign up for our CFL/LED program

What else you can do: Choosing to replace a car trip with a bicycle trip once a week could have a significant effect on climate change, as one vehicle mile releases about 19 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. Even your diet can affect climate change. Producing 1 lb. of beef requires nearly 2,000 gallons of water and releases 32 lbs. of CO2 into the atmosphere, so maybe consider a vegetable-based dish for your next dinner. Even something as simple as remembering to unplug your phone charger can reduce your CO2 emissions.