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August 19, 2018

One Simple Thing

Part 3 of a Series on the Environment from the Question Line Duo

lighthouse This week's One Simple Thing you can do to make a big impact on climate change:

Change the lighting in your home or business to LED bulbs.

The diverse range of LED lighting now available means that virtually any type of bulb currently in commercial or residential use can be replaced by an LED bulb. LEDs transfer 80 percent of their energy use into creating light — rather than heat . . . and reduce air-conditioning loads accordingly.

[From Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawken]

Do you have a community HOA? Work on your town's planning board? Attend town planning meetings? How about proposing the switch to LED in your community and then volunteering to help find the most economical approach to making the switch?

LEDs are also transforming urban spaces with street lighting. LED streetlights can save up to 70 percent of energy and significantly reduce maintenance costs, meaning cities can retrofit old, inefficient streetlights with LEDs that pay for themselves. LEDs can be "tuned" to provide health benefits to humans (greater alertness on highways or sleep-inducement in residential areas) and to protect wildlife (preventing birds and turtles, for example, from being disoriented by artificial light) . . . So hardwired into human life is lighting, it accounts for 15 percent of global electricity use — more than that generated by all nuclear plants worldwide. And demand is rising. LEDs will be vital to meeting it, while drawing down energy use and emissions, as well as expense.
[Drawdown by Paul Hawken]

Think it's too expensive to make the switch to LED?

If used 5 hours a night, one bulb should last 27 years, making it the least expensive form of illumination on the planet.
[Drawdown by Paul Hawken]

Do you think changing a few light bulbs in your house isn't enough? That it won't make that much difference to the larger problem? Think about these wise words of Perelandra's fearless leader, Machaelle Wright:

Sometimes it is difficult to understand the power of one person living in a world of billions of others. Here's a little exercise to help. Take a moment to think about the breadth and depth of the environmental disasters we face today. Think about the air pollution and the health effects we experience when we breathe that air. Think about the serious water issues we face: the pollution, the scarcity, the looming wars over water. Think about the deteriorating soil quality, the dying oceans, the endangered wildlife, the increasing occurrences of wild fires that each year are more severe than the last. And think about the critical issue of global warming and its ramifications for everyone and everything around the world.

Now think about this: Every one of these problems has been created by us humans over a relatively short period of time. By "us" I don't mean large groups or global populations acting in concert. This disaster has been created by individuals acting independently. By "us" I am referring to you, me, our spouses, each of our children, our grandfathers, our grandmothers, our cousins... Our current crisis was created by each of us acting independently and establishing a personal and professional lifestyle that was environmentally deaf, dumb and blind.

The needed coordination between governments and industry to turn this crisis around will never succeed if we as individuals don't join in the efforts. If the same number of individuals who created the problem focused on what they need to do on the personal level to live an environmentally conscious life, we could turn the global problems around in an amazingly short time. I believe in the power of the individual and I believe in the importance of our acting responsibly as individuals without waiting for the right leader or group. In actuality, it's the power of the individual that leads the way.

Now imagine what we individuals could accomplish if we teamed up with the greatest authority in the field of balance — nature — to help us personally to make the best decisions for improving our lives and our planet.

How do you work with nature on this issue? Use the simple approach we recommended last week.

1. Choose your start point.

Name your goal. This is your DDP (definition, direction and purpose). Here are a few examples:

  • Change all of the lighting in my house to LED within the next year.

  • Work with my employer to find a way to change our office lighting to all LED within 6 months.

  • Present a viable, economically sound plan to my landlord to change all of the lighting in our apartment building to LED within one year.

  • Write an effective letter to my town planning commission explaining the economic and environmental benefits of changing our street lights to LED.

Got the idea? Don't complicate it. You'll see better, quicker results when you keep it this simple.

2. Take your goal to nature.

The easiest way to begin is to follow the instructions given in Idea #9 of this article, inserting your DDP to make the switch to LED lighting:

Now let's go change this world, one light bulb at a time!

~ Beth and Jeannette

Perelandra Question Line Duo

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