Since Fall 2005 , the Office of Environmental Policy, Connecticut Light and Power, and the UConn Co-op have worked together to give away FREE Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) to freshman participating in the Textbooks-To-Go program. In the months following this first event, the team also coordinated the month-long "Change a light, change the world" campaign from ENERGY STAR and CL&P.
The CFL giveaways grew out of discussions of the EPAC Greenhouse Gas Workgroup. Initially, estimates of how many bulbs were need for the giveaway hovered below 2,900 bulbs. In recent years, however, this giveaway has grown to over 3,000 bulbs during the Fall 2006 event. Any leftover bulbs are then given away during the semester by the Co-op and the EcoHusky Student Group.
Want to know how to dispose of CFL lightbulbs properly? Click here for instructions!
The 2009 CFL Giveaway was a huge success as over 1000 CFLs were handed out to incoming freshman during the Textbooks To Go program at the Co-op. A huge thank you went out to Suzy Staubach and Marcia Firsick and the UConn Co-op for allowing voluneers to use the space. Also, a big thank you went to Amy Crim at ResLife and the Office of Environmental Policy for purchasing the bulbs. The CFL lightbulbs were handed out along with information on energy conservation and living green at UConn by EcoHusky members and office of Environmental Policy interns.
Jennifer Sayers lead the Second Annual CFL Giveaway during the Freshman Textbooks-To-Go session in the Co-Op. 3,000 CFL light bulbs were distributed, free of charge, to incoming freshmen and transfers in 2006. Pat Pollin, Bianca Lopez, and Kathleen Gherard set-up another giveaway display at the front of the Co-Op, and continued to give out the rest of the CFLs during the Fall 2006 semester.
During the 2006-2007 academic year, Cynthia Boyle, a staff member at Charter Oaks Apartment Complex, noticed that roughly half of the work orders received were for light bulb replacements alone. Each bulb replacement took roughly half an hour and cost approximately $22 in labor costs. Cynthia contacted Henry Dombrowski, a senior finance major and student staff member at the apartments, to conduct an analysis calculating what savings the complex could potentially make by switching from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).
Henry found that the apartment complex could save over $12,500 a year after initial retrofit since the new bulbs last up to ten times longer and use one fifth the electricity! This is not only good news for the University, but for the environment as well. By reducing energy consumption from every light bulb in the Charter Oaks Apartments, the retrofit would save over 850 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere! After reviewing the Cost-Benefit report, it was an easy decision to move forward with the retrofit. Overall, 3108 light bulbs were replaced at the complex by dedicated maintenance workers and volunteers working four hour afternoon shifts over a period of only two weeks.
Melanie Murphy and representatives from Connecticut Light & Power hold the fort at the CFL giveaway table next to the Textbooks-to-Go station. About 2,300 students participated in the Textbooks-to-Go Program this year, and for three days, EcoHusky and Co-op Representatives offered free energy efficient light bulbs to participants and interested co-op members. Bright signs and informative brochures reminded parents and students alike of the benefits to using energy efficient products. By offering free CFL bulbs to incoming students, the volunteers hoped to raise awareness and encourage energy use conservation among students and parents.