Carbonrally – christmas LED

R, G, and B LEDs [7].

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Carbonrally – christmas LED.

Use the above link to accept the challenge and to learn more!!


Replace your old incandescent holiday lights with light-emitting diode lights (LEDs)

Challenge Details

This challenge was originally published on November 29, 2007. We’re about 40x larger for the 2010 holiday season, so let’s deliver a much bigger holiday gift to Planet Earth this time around!

There are few symbols of the winter holiday season as vivid and meaningful as holiday lights. Just when we turn back our clocks, beckoning to our innate urge to hibernate, the holiday lights are illuminated to signal the winter holiday celebration. While there are plenty of opportunities to reduce carbon emissions during the holidays, switching your traditional, incandescent holiday lights to new light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs is perhaps the simplest way to achieve large carbon emission savings without curbing your participation in holiday cheer.

The Carbon Connection
The fact is, by switching to LEDs, you can readily preserve your most garish holiday lighting arrangement and still reduce your carbon impact by 90% compared to last year. And the carbon connection is pretty simple to understand. Every time you flick on a light switch, electricity flows from the nearest power plant which is probably powered by coal, oil, or natural gas. Wherever you can minimize your electricity demand, you will directly ratchet down the carbon emissions from your local power plant.

Compared to traditional incandescent holiday lights, LED lights use much less electricity. An average string of incandescent holiday lights consumes about 500 watts of electricity every hour. In comparison, a similar string of LED holiday lights uses about 50 watts per hour. That’s one tenth the electricity! And that translates into about a 3/4 pound reduction in CO2 emissions for every HOUR you use a string of LEDs instead of traditional lights.

And all that saved electricity translates to saved money as well. Each LED string will lower your energy bill by about $9 by the end of this holiday season.

Getting It Done
Replace your old strings of incandescent lights with LED strings now. In the long run, it will benefit your wallet, your sanity, and Earth.

LED lights are available everywhere this year. The cost of a string of 100-bulb LEDs can vary from $25 at the local hardware store to as low as $10 if you shop around on-line. Regardless of the price you pay, there is an initial financial investment for LEDs compared to the $4 you’ll pay for incandescents. However, you will quickly recoup your initial payout through energy savings and durability.

Here are a few places we found LED holiday lights for sale:

Environmental Lights
Christmas Lights Etc.
1000 Bulbs

And, of course, you can find strings of LED bulbs for sale at your local Home Depot or other big-box superstore.

And don’t throw away your old lights — recycle them. Many companies that sell new LEDs also recycle old, incandescent strings. The Christmas Light Recycling Program at is just one example.

Rules of the Challenge
The duration of this Challenge is one month, and the total CO2 reduction is 251 lbs. So, if you accept this Challenge, you’ll see about 8 pounds of CO2 reduction added to your Rally account each day for the next 30 days.

If you typically use lights for less than 30 days during the holidays, you’ll have to apply some creative math. The 251 lbs of CO2 savings in one month is based on two 100-bulb strings of lights (roughly enough lights for a Christmas tree) burning 6 hours a day for 30 days. If your lights are only up and lit for 15 days, you’ll need to replace four sets of lights to reach this Challenge’s CO2 savings value. On the other hand, if you decide to replace additional strings of lights inside or outside your house (all those trees and bushes), you can accept this Challenge again for every two strings you replace.

As with all Challenges, the most important thing is that you take a small action to reduce climate change. Don’t sweat the numbers too much; just take the Challenge!

See the Math
Let’s start with the known or estimated numbers:

  • A single string of 100 old-style incandescent bulbs requires 500 watts of electricity per hour.
  • A single string of 100 LED bulbs requires 50 watts of electricity per hour.
  • On average, folks use two 100-bulb strings of lights on their tree
  • Swapping out one string of incandescent bulbs for one string of LEDs saves 450 watts per hour. Swapping out 2 strings of bulbs saves 900 watts per hour.
  • A kilowatt is equal to 1000 watts. Using 1 kilowatt for 1 hour is what your electric company describes as 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh). So swapping out 2 strings of bulbs saves 0.9 kWh for every hour the lights are lit.
  • On average, lights are lit for 6 hours a day for 30 days during the holidays, or 180 hours total.
  • A fossil fuel burning power plant releases an average 1.55 pounds of CO2 for every kilowatt-hour it creates.
  • Each kilowatt-hour (kWh) costs about $0.12 . So, based on the assumptions above, completing this challenge will save you about $19.40 The cost of switching to new LED bulbs will be covered after about two season of use.

Defenders of Wildlife: Historic Victory for Northern Rockies Wolves

Historic Victory for Northern Rockies Wolves



Gray wolves regain federal protections under Endangered Species Act


Gray WolfOn August 5, 2010, a federal judge overturned a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act (ESA), paving the way for these critical predators to rebuild their numbers to ecologically sustainable levels. This ruling is the result of a lawsuit brought against the FWS in 2009 by Defenders of Wildlife and other conservation organizations.

After Defenders of Wildlife led efforts to restore the gray wolf population in the Northern Rockies in 1995, this great success was dealt a serious setback when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved a plan from the Bush administration era to delist gray wolves from the ESA. Once off the list, the wolves were quickly approved for hunting in Idaho and Montana, where more than 350 wolves—almost 20% of the total population—were killed in 2009.

Defenders of Wildlife is a national leader in efforts to save America’s wolves. In addition to suing the government to relist the species, we’re working proactively with livestock owners to prevent conflicts, countering anti-wolf rhetoric in the media and mobilizing activists in support of a science-based approach to wolf management.

What’s Next?

One of the immediate impacts of the ruling is that the hunting seasons in Montana and Idaho, originally planned to begin this fall, will be canceled.

While this court ruling is a great win for wolves, many challenges remain. There will undoubtedly be some people who oppose this decision. Defenders will continue to work hard in all our efforts mentioned above to ensure the wolves have a lasting future in the region.

At a broader level, we also need a new approach to delisting endangered species so similar ill-advised decisions can be avoided in the future. Our wildlife’s survival cannot be left to the whim of short-term political goals.

Defenders is committed to the long-term survival of the Northern Rockies wolves and other imperiled wildlife. We will continue to work in the field, in the courts and in Washington to ensure healthy, interconnected populations and ecosystems.

From Halliburton With Love

Halliburton's North Belt Office, which contain...

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Sign the Petition to Put a Moratorium On Halliburton

Save Pot Plant Owls Wetland – The Petition Site

Save Pot Plant Owls Wetland – The Petition Site.

Pot Plant Owl is the name of a wild Spotted Eagle Owl that nests in a potted plant on the balcony of a house in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is currently raising her chicks there for the third consecutive year.

Close by is a 30 hectare greenbelt (open land) with a protected wetland running through it. This is where Pot Plant Owl and her mate hunt for food. They live mostly on insects, rodents and small birds. The wetland has also been home to, amongst other things, the African Giant Bull Frog – an endangered species.

In January 2010, a developer brought in a bulldozer and began clearing the trees. The developer is requesting permission to build houses on this protected wetland. In South Africa, as in most of the world, developers have a habit of winning.

This is one of the last wetlands in a large area. According to South African law, wetlands are supposed to be protected, but the Goverment department in charge of enforcing this law appears to be in favour of the development.


If the development goes ahead, the wetland will be destroyed, along with all the inhabitants of the wetland.  Our family of owls will not survive without this wetland area. Please help us save our owls and the wetland! 

Will 3D Printing Spark A Green Manufacturing Revolution? : TreeHugger

Example of replication of a real object by mea...

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Will 3D Printing Spark A Green Manufacturing Revolution? : TreeHugger.

It is like the music for our iPod; dematerialized bits and bytes put together again where we need it, without the waste of a physical intermediary.

[Abe Reichental, CEO of 3D Systems] predicts the cost of outsourced labor in emerging markets like China and India will continue to rise along with the growth of their middle classes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, both employment and compensation costs in China increased rapidly from 2002 to 2006. Employment in China increased by more than ten percent in just four years, while compensation costs increased more than 40 percent. “We believe this is an opportunity for recreating a reverse flow, bringing manufacturing activities and jobs back to the United States,” says Reichental.

It may seem a far-fetched to predict that thousands of entrepreneurs across America will install professional-grade rapid prototyping machines in their garages and begin manufacturing custom-made products. But if the costs of rapid prototyping technology continue to decline, it’s hard to see why future generations will have to go to the store to buy anything made of solid plastic or metal. Why buy cutlery and plastic cups if you could just download the design and make it yourself? Plastic water bottles, shower curtains, simple toys, Tupperware, and all types of kitsch. The list goes on.

PlantMyPhone – Recycle Your Old Phone and Plant A Tree

PlantMyPhone – Click here to sign the pledge and receive and for more info!

Unfortunately at this time this offer is only for people in the United States.

Trees are planted currently in 12 countries:

Belize, Burundi, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, India, Nicaragua, Panama, Philippines, Senegal, and Zambia.

Link to the Press Kit

Photos from Planting Projects

How It Works

Step 1:

Send in your phone, free postage.  You can print out a label or request a free mailer bag

Step 2:

PlantMyPhone responsibly recycles your phone and sells the recycled materials to fund tree planting.  Trees per Phone!!

Step 3:

PlantMyPhone emails you about how many trees you planted!!

The following was copied from their website:

We all know that recycling is good for the planet, but why? Recycling your old cell phone enables you to make a difference in the well being of the planet because it limits resource consumption and keeps toxic chemicals out of our home environments.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that each year 140 million cell phones are retired, and the rate of cell phone turnover is increasing. Additionally, it is suggested that there are currently 500 million retired cell phones that have already been discarded but not recycled. This stockpile of old cell phones could be put to good use if they are recycled. PlantMyPhone partners with recycling services that are ISO14001 certified and follow policies that ensure that materials are not exported to other countries or sent to landfills. This means that the materials in the phones are properly disposed of in the United States, in ways consistent with strict environmental guidelines. None of the materials are sent to landfills in the United States or abroad.

When a cell phone is recycled, the phone is taken apart and the pieces of the phone that are still useable are used to reconstruct phones to be sold in other markets. The remaining pieces, as well as cell phones that do not contain parts that can be reused are used instead for raw materials recovery. For every 1 million cell phones recycled, 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, 33 pounds of palladium and 35,274 pounds of copper can be reclaimed. Both of these recycling processes are beneficial to the Earth because they reduce the mining of precious metals and cut down on the energy and resources used in production of new cell phone parts.

Why Trees?

“The symbolism – and the substantive significance – of planting a tree has universal power in every culture and every society on Earth, and it is a way for individual men, women and children to participate in creating solutions for the environmental crisis.”

Al Gore, Earth in the Balance