Twenty-six volunteers replaced 150 incandescent lightbulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) in dorms on main campus as part of the “CleanBulb” project on Thursday night.
Emory Environmental Alliance (EEA) organized the project, while the Student Government Association (SGA) and Student Programming Council provided funding. The 150 CFLs installed cost approximately $168.
“The idea was basically to do something positive for the University,” said Alex Kappus, vice president of SGA.
Volunteers consisted of freshmen, members of EEA and five students from Morehouse College. The participants divided into teams of three to four, and each group was equipped with 15 to 20 lightbulbs.
“We were thinking of something we could do not only to engage students, but to impact our energy usage on campus,” President of EEA Ryan Jones said.
Jones said that the project not only had a “very measurable impact” on the environment, it only had a favorable impact on utility costs.
“These ‘clean lightbulbs’ will prevent 400 pounds of CO2 emissions over their lifetime and are expected to save the University over $750 in energy costs this year alone, Jones said.
CFLs last eight to 10 times longer than incandescent lightbulbs. Essentially, volunteers for the project removed three out of every four lightbulbs, Jones said.
In the process of replacing lightbulbs, the volunteers focused on student-brought bulbs, which were already installed in the floor and desk lamps; the hallway lights were left untouched. Each group replaced only half of the bulbs in each of the dorms because they ran out of CFLs.
“We were all shocked at the number of incandescent bulbs we found,” Jones said.
College junior Chloe Ekelem and two other volunteers changed the incandescent bulbs in New Turman but only had enough CFLs for the top two floors.
“We really underestimated the amount of lightbulbs we were going to need,” Ekelem said.
Regardless of the amount of bulbs changed, Ekelem noted a high level of reception among freshman students.
“It does have a very measurable impact on, not only our environment, but on our utility costs,” Jones said. “When you evaluate the lifecycle costs, it makes environmental sense and technology sense as well.”
With additional funding from the University, Jones said that EEA hopes to change the rest of the lightbulbs in dorms on campus, including Clairmont Campus.
—Contact Lindsey Bomnin.