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3,500 CFL bulbs to be given away at Green Home Expo
Friday, April 23, 2010

How many light bulbs does it take to change a community? The answer might be smaller than you think. On Saturday, April 24th, SUNY Fredonia students and members of EarthWorks, an environmental action group of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Northern Chautauqua (UUCNC), will be giving away 3,500 free compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Lasting from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the CFL Giveaway is a part of the Green Home Expo, hosted by the Rotary Home and Garden Show at the County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk.

Expo attendees can learn energy saving tips and receive two free CFL bulbs per person—one 13-watt and one 23-watt bulb. The giveaway will help community members experience the benefits of using CFL bulbs. According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), CFL bulbs last 7-10 times longer and use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Switching from incandescent bulbs to CFLs also helps the environment. As the NYSERDA website explains, “If every household in New York switched five bulbs to ENERGY STAR® compact fluorescent bulbs, it could save $432 million in electric costs and greenhouse gas emissions reductions—the equivalent of taking 340,000 cars off the road.”

Regardless of income, people are generally hesitant to spend money on a product they are unsure of, especially when it costs more. When given the chance to try these bulbs for free, it is anticipated that many people will see the benefits of switching from incandescent bulbs to CFL bulbs. Once people see their bills are lower and they don’t have to change their bulbs as often, they might realize that they can’t afford not to. 500 more CFL bulbs will be distributed at a Chautauqua County Rural Ministry food pantry event later this spring, making energy conservation an accessible option for everyone.

The Green Home will feature local businesses and organizations that offer "Green" products, services, providing local residents with "Green" alternatives to fundamental household and consumer needs. The Expo also coincides with the Third Annual Campus and Community Household Electronics Recycling Event, where people will be able to drop off their old electronics free of charge from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. This comes as a definite boon to the community, as local transfer stations no longer accept electronics.

Generously funded through a Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo grant, the CFL Giveaway is sponsored by Earthworks, the students of SUNY Fredonia’s “Writing, Sustainability, and Social Change,” and SUNY Fredonia’s FACE Center and Sustainability Committee. For more information about the Green Home Expo or other campus and community Earth Week events, please visit


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