Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Moving forward

Lights Out San Francisco was a huge success, thanks to all of our sponsors and supporters, especially the Teacher with the Bus. You will find some beautiful images of participating landmarks here, and feedback from individuals on our "October 20th" page.

Building off of all the positive responses we've received from folks across the country and even around the world, we're moving forward with Lights Out America. Right now we're working on planning and fundraising, and meeting with the many folks who are interested in collaborating with us. Stay tuned to our website and this blog for more news and info!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


We've been getting quite a few emails and questions regarding CFLs. Below you will find some information that I hope will prove useful:

5 Ways to Recycle a CFL

How to live with CFLs

Sierra Club's "Mr. Green" on CFLs

In response to those of you who have asked about "dimmable" and other types of CFLs, I suggest you inquire about them at your local hardware store or search online.

Yesterday I spoke with a representative from the SF Department of the Environment about the best way to dispose of used incandescent bulbs. Unfortunately, the best way to dispose of them is to put them in the garbage. The good news is that, if you're replacing your incandescent bulbs with CFLs, you'll be saving resources in the long-run!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A post for Blog Action Day

In honor of Blog Action Day, I'd like to point out an article the SF Chronicle ran on Sunday. Cities throughout California are setting up solar-powered parking lots. According to the Chronicle, “[a]lthough the demand for electricity peaks on days when the sun shines brightest, solar power accounts for less than 1 percent of California's total electricity supply”. Wouldn’t it be great to harness more energy from this life-giving star at the center of our solar system? For more information, read “Solar-powered parking lots”.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Eco press

According to the New Economics Foundation, "[t]he world moved into 'ecological overdraft' on Saturday, the point at which human consumption exceeds the ability of the earth to sustain it in any year and goes into the red". While it is not definite that this is the case, the article "World moves into the ecological red" includes some very scary and eye-opening facts. This one struck me as particularly poignant:

"If everyone in the world had the same consumption rates as in the United States it would take 5.3 planet earths to support them, NEF said, noting that the figure was 3.1 for France and Britain, 3.0 for Spain, 2.5 for Germany and 2.4 for Japan."

Thank you to Graham, who wrote in to alert us of an article entitled "Is light pollution killing out birds?" which states:

"Recent research has shown a reduction in the populations of moths, spiders, sparrows and amphibians, supporting the case for light pollution being considered a threat to the environment as well as to astronomers - who find the glare interfering with their observations - and householders - who complain of the visual intrusion caused by security lights and insensitive street lighting."

Visit to download a PDF of the entire article.

Just some more food for thought.

Green resources

It's been a while since I've posted something other than event notices and media mentions. Today I'd like to take a moment to direct you all toward a few green resources.

NRDC has a Green Living Toolkit, where you will find a comprehensive list of well-written guides, tips, and other resources that will help you live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Treehugger also has a good collection of Go Green Guides, which include everything from "How to Green Your Community" to "How to Green Your Pet."

And, even more importantly, news about pending legislation and global warming appears every day. According to an AP writeup by H. Josef Hebert, last week the EPA "examined the long-term impact of three climate change bills being considered in the Senate, each of which would cap carbon dioxide emissions from cars, industry and power plants with an goal of reducing greenhouse gas releases by 60 to 65 percent by mid-century". For the entire article, read "EPA: Competing Bills Achieve Same Goal".

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Turn Off The Lights

Check out this video that Imagination TV sent to us! They have a new environmental kid's band, "The Funkees", who have recorded a song parody called "Turn Off the Lights" that they're donating to Lights Out.

MySpace us!

Help us spread the word:

Find us on MySpace and be our friend!

How much electricity do your appliances use?

A friend asked me if even her flat iron uses electricity if it's plugged in, but not in use. While I was unable to find out about flat irons, I found a helpful website that explains electricity usage. Generally speaking, anything with a display will draw a charge even if it is off. Appliances that run off transformers also draw a charge. Learn more.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Lights Out on TV!

Lights Out made an appearance today on national news! Check him out on Fox News.

Monday, October 1, 2007

We are Lights Out America

Hello and welcome to our blog,

We are Lights Out America, a grassroots community group now organizing a nationwide energy savings event on Saturday, March 29, 2008. On this night, we invite the entire nation including businesses, city and federal government agencies, schools, and individuals to turn off all non-essential lighting to save energy.

We started with a local event in San Francisco for which we created a template and lessons learned that can be applied in creating similar events in cities throughout the country. In the process of building Lights Out San Francisco we were contacted by people in cities across the country, and even around the world, in hopes of organizing Lights Out events in their own towns. With that, we decided to spread our campaign nationally and globally.

You may ask: what good does one hour do? What do we hope to accomplish?

Today, the United States consumes more energy and emits more greenhouse gases than any other country in the world. Our nation's growing appetite for energy must be controlled to protect our planet from the effects of the climate crisis.

We were inspired by a similar event recently held in Sydney, Australia, called Earth Hour. In Sydney, 2.2 million people participated. Their one hour of lights out meant that 24.86 tons of carbon dioxide were not released into the air - the equivalent of taking 48,613 cars off the road for one hour.

Of course, we'd hope for the same or better here.

Polls show that Americans are concerned about climate change (71% believe it is real and 60% believe it poses a serious problem). We've consistently seen that people want to do their part to combat climate change, but they're not sure what or how easy it can be.

Now is the time to organize the nation and give everyone an active role in reducing energy consumption. A part of the solution to climate change involves education and giving people simple tasks that are easy to achieve.

On Saturday, March 29th we invite households nationwide to install one compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) and turn off all non-essential lighting to save energy and fight global warming. The day will end with a one-hour lights out celebration, which we hope will take place across the US.

How can you get involved? We're glad you asked. Your support is critical to making Lights Out America a success.

If you are a business or individual, pledge your support to turn your non-essential lighting off on March 29. If you are interested in volunteering or helping us, email us at
. You can also


Please join us in turning out your non-essential lights on Saturday, March 29, 2008, and stay tuned here for more information.

Warm regards,

The Lights Out America Team