[sent out to friends in early Dec, 2007]
Eco-Xmas Pass it Forward Idea
(More culturally sensitive version: Holiday Eco Pass it Forward)
Ever wanted to give a gift that really gives? This idea came to me after receiving six free compact fluorescent lightbulbs from the Windpower company that I’ve signed up with to receive windpower credits. WindCurrent is the name of the company that sent me these and I have to thank Jim McGuire, the head of WindCurrent, for this opportunity for inspiration.
I changed my bulbs to CF’s a long time ago, maybe 15 years ago? This what someone who’s been in the enviro field a long time did early on. So when I saw these bulbs in the box, I immediately rolled through the rolodex in my mind to figure out who should receive these bulbs. Then a brainstorm hit.
My mailman, Tony, is the nicest guy. And he may not have seen An Inconvenient Truth, nor read much about things to do to conserve electricity and keep his bills down. And lordy knows, here in MD, our electricity rates are jumping higher than a jackrabbit this year. So this past Saturday, I was out raking my leaves and Tony drives up. I ran inside and gave him one of the lightbulbs. I told him that it will cut down on his electricity consumption by up to 80% and save him money, especially if he changes all of his bulbs over to CF ones. And, he can get them at Sam’s Club and other discount stores for about $14 for a pack of six of them.
I explained all of this to him and his eyes lit up more and more. When I mentioned the global warming piece of it, he did not even hear that. But that’s okay. Then I encouraged him to tell his friends and family about these CF lightbulbs. He drove away the happiest man I’ve seen in months. And it was just a lightbulb!
The other bulbs that I’ve got are going to my trash pick-up crew. I’m going to look for them tomorrow morning as I sit here at my desk at home (laboriously working on a next book), and run out to meet them, and explain quickly to them what I told Tony.
These are the people who are not touched by the environmental media and are the hardest ones to reach to encourage them to shift to environmentally friendly lifestyles. Yet their bills are more serious to them than many of the rest of us educated ones. This is such a win-win.
If you work in an office and ever see your custodian, give him a CF lightbulb. If you usually give your mailperson or trash collectors a Holiday gift check, give them CF lightbulbs instead. You will be helping them save a lot more money over time than your Holiday check would cover (unless you write big checks, and if so, I’ll give you my address and you can include me in that list to receive this year).
We can reach out to far greater circles of influence and contacts through this simple Pass it Forward Eco Version. And help to slow global warming and feel good about it, all at the same time.
Now, back to my book writing. I just let myself get too distracted… ;~)