18 seconds is the time it takes to change a lightbulb. For each bulb you switch from incandescent to compact fluorescent, you’ll save 104 lbs of CO2 per year and about $30 in energy bills. For most Americans, that’s an equivalent impact to not driving for three days.
As such, we’re pretty impressed with a new campaign put together by a bunch of organizations from across the public and private sectors and backed by a slick web site from Yahoo! The campaign is called 18seconds.org, and it consists of a set of tools for tracking and evangelizing the adoption of compact fluorescent light bulbs across the U.S.
Fed by scanner data coordinated by Nielsen, the tools show you just how many CFLs you and your neighbors are buying, with the clock starting at 1/1/07. The counts are already impressively high, and they reveal that the fight against climate change is taking place throughout the country, on every coast and in the heartland.
The number #1 state for CFLs? Arkansas. #2? Wyoming. Our home city of San Francisco comes in at paltry #104 on the list. Bad data? Trend? Discuss!
One overlooked item is this campaign is convincing people to throw away the box of unused incandescents taking up space in their closets. This stockpiled inventory is one of the sources of inertia keeping CFLs from spreading as quickly as they otherwise might. Although it might feel wrong, throwing away those unused incandescents and making room for CFLs is actually one of the best things you can do for the environment.
So get started now. Check your hometown out on the site and see how you compare to the rest of America.