Fourth Week of Lent | Sunday, March 18, 2012


Change your light bulbs to compact fluorescents


“You’ve got to stay bright to be the light of the world.”

Matthew 5: 14 (from “Godspell” lyrics)

Jesus was patient with his disciples, aware of their human limitations. Despite Peter’s desire to be faithful, though, when pushed into a corner he disowned Jesus. Yet from the deep love nourished through his relationship with his Abba-God, Jesus continued to call his disciples to be shining lights. He calls us to do the same.

Walking is accomplished a single step at a time. We can walk to a positive choice, we can take a step. We can continue to reach beyond our edges of comfort, to be light to the world.

It’s more than a play on words to examine the light in our own households. The movement to replace less efficient sources of lighting with bulbs that save energy has grown steadily over the past few years. Some area electric companies even send free compact fluorescent bulbs to the homes of their customers to encourage everyday households to replace “one bulb at a time.”

According to Energy Star, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, qualified bulbs and fixtures use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last nearly ten times longer. We can reduce energy use, save money (the average home lighting can account for 20% of one’s electric bill!), and lower our personal mark on God’s creation.

By one estimate, if every U.S. household replaced a single bulb with anenergy-efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL), we would save enough energy to light three million homes for a year. This could also result in saving $600 million in annual energy costs and prevent carbon dioxide gases equivalent to running more than 800,000 cars.

There are related suggestions that can assist: hanging thinner curtains to let daylight in, using three-way lamps on a lower setting when able, installing dimmers or motion sensors inside or outside the house, open south-facing curtains on a winter sunny day to make best use of that natural heat source.

This Lent, why not be a light for our earth, and “be bright,” choosing energy-saving CFLs – one step at a time.

Learn how carbon dioxide emissions have grown steadily since the 1990s.


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