Earth Day, the world’s largest annual celebration of environmental issues, is almost upon us. This year more than one billion people around the world will come together to raise environmental awareness and promote activities that can protect our planet. In this short article, we look at the history of Earth Day and how energy efficient lighting is one of the big topics in 2016.
Earth Day was established in 1970 and is celebrated annually on April 22. The end of the Sixties was when the world started realizing the harmful impact of industrialization on the environment; therefore the first Earth Day gave voice to that emerging consciousness. Initially held only in the United States, Earth Day went global in 1990 and received official UN recognition in 2009.
This year’s Earth Day is the first one after the big Paris conference on climate change (click here for more information). Held last December, this conference set a goal to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. It also put lighting at the forefront of the movement to reduce energy consumption worldwide.
According to research studies, lighting accounts for 25% of global electricity consumption and 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions (more than double the emissions of global air travel). Accelerating the transition to energy efficient lighting therefore could be one of the most significant short term initiatives to improve economic and climate conditions around the world.
The Global Lighting Challenge, launched at the Paris conference and backed by many governments and progressive lighting companies, plans to distribute 10 billion energy efficient lights including LEDs to replace traditional incandescent lighting. This means that by 2030, the work of initiatives like the Global Lighting Challenge is projected to deploy 50% more energy efficient lighting globally while consuming 50% less energy compared to today.
Compared to traditional incandescent lights, LEDs have a lifespan which is 25 times longer, so they need to be changed less often and as a result less waste is produced. LEDs are also far more energy efficient, which results in fewer polluting power plants being built and big savings from lower electricity bills. So although the upfront cost of LEDs might be a little higher, over the long-term they are much cheaper as well as cleaner to use (more details here).
With so many obvious benefits of energy efficient lighting, households, businesses and industry you should not delay from making the switch to LED lighting today.
Want to get involved in Earth Day? You can by clicking here.
Learn more about the Global Lighting Challenge by visiting here.
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