October 14, 2008

St. Cat's students selling energy-saving light bulbs

Students at Saint Catherine's High School are selling energy-saving light bulbs to promote energy efficiency while raising funds for their Environmental Club.

Twenty-five students are participating in the Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program’s (KEEP) Bright Idea Fundraiser by selling compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and LED holiday lights. This is the third year participating in the program.

According to Carrie Ziolkowski, program coordinator for KEEP, the objectives of the fundraiser are to promote awareness about the environment, energy efficiency, and health, while teaching students and residents how to save energy. Two dollars for every CFL and $3 per LED holiday light sold by students this year goes to the Environmental Club. The students also are providing the community with the opportunity to save money and energy, while improving the environment.

Last year the Saint Catherine's Environmental Club sold 130 bulbs and raised $346.00, saving Racine residents $3,378 in energy costs.

For information on how to order CFLs, email Melissa Warner. The fundraiser runs through Nov. 20.

CFLs reduce the amount of fossil fuels burned at power plants because they use less energy. This reduction results in fewer greenhouse gas and mercury emissions. If every Wisconsin household replaced just one incandescent bulb with an Energy Star qualified CFL, over the lifetime of those bulbs more than 102,000 tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide would be prevented from being released into the atmosphere. This is the environmental equivalent of removing nearly 14,000 cars from the road. CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than conventional light bulbs.

KEEP is the result of a collaborative effort between the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education (WCEE) and Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program. The WCEE is a nonprofit organization, located in the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. For more information on KEEP, visit its website.

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