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[Part 1]: 51 things you can do from TIME

November 10, 2010

Here’s a shout-out to the JC1/Year 5 IP students who have completed or are going to complete their PW journey soon, all the best and hope you enjoyed yourself during the final presentation (as much as I have) (: For the A level students, study hard and it’ll be all over very soon!

On a more environmental note, I was reading the TIME coffee table book on climate change and their writing and photos are absolutely stunning! (: But what really caught by eye was the 51 suggestions that they offered regarding action against climate change, shall adapt 2 here which I think you can do as well! Look out for the other parts from 51 things you can do from TIME (: All text quoted directly from TIME’s coffee table book Global Warming.

1. Change your lightbulbs

The hottest thing in household energy savings is the compact fluorescent lightbulb (CFL), a funny-looking swirl that fits into standard sockets. CFLs cost three to ive times as much as conventional incandescent bulbs yet use one-quarter the electricity and last several years longer. They are available virtually everywhere lightbulbs are sold.

One caveat: most labels don’t say “CFL” (GE calls its bulbs Energy Savers), and in some cases the telltale twist is enclosed in frosted glass. The wattage gives them away: many 7-watt CFLs are comparable to a regular 40-watt bulb, 26 watts is the typical CFL equivalent of 100watts and so on. Or just look for the Energy Star label.

CFLs have come a long way since they were first introduced in the mid-’90s (they don’t flicker as much when you turn them on, for one thing), but because each bulb still contains 5mg of mercury, you’re not supposed to toss them out with regular trash, where they could end up in a landfill. The bulbs are one more thing for your to sort in the recycling bin.

Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, don’t have this problem, but they can require a bit of DIY rewiring. LEDs work great as accents and task lights, and you can also buy LED desk and floor lamps. But if you’re just looking to put a green bulb in your favourite table lamp, CFL is the way to go.

Note: for a more Singaporean context, check out (:

2. Light up your city

Cities can save energy – and money – by illuminating public spaces with LEDs, or light-emitting diodes. In December 2006, Raleigh, N.C., turned one floor of a municipal parking agarge into a testing ground for LEDs (see the before-and-after photos at The new white, brighter fixtures use 40% less electricity than the high-pressure sodium bulbs they replaced. Although they cost two to three times as much, they can go five or more years without upkeep. Traditional bulbs must be replaced every 18 months.  Other types of LEDs are already at work in traffic lights, outdoor displays (like those in New York City’s Times Squre) and stadiums; airports even use LEDs on their taxi-ways. If your city is still burning tax money on old lights, ask the mayor why.

So check out more energy efficient and sustainable lighting for not only your home, but also your shops, and outdoor displays! If you have relatives, or friends who run their own businesses and are going to set up shop, do tell them to use green, energy efficient lighting (: It makes a huge difference, not just at financial cost, but also environmental cost!

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