Since there are no currently active contests, we have switched Climate CoLab to read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation
Share via:


MIT Alumni can take an easy step to reduce hme electricity use 10% at virtually no cost. Save power, cut emissions, and convince others!



This is a very modest proposal.  Climate change discussion too often gets stuck on the "what can I do" question.  Many proposals are fantastic but take time to implement.  Time is not something we have in unlimited supply.

Alumni can lead by taking immediate action themselves, lobbying for action in their workplace, and persuading others to do the same.  Some of you have already done this, but an amazing number have not.

What is this miracle?  Simply replace every light in your home with an LED bulb.   Lighting is still 15% of residential electricity consumption, and LED relamping immediately reduces this by 2/3 (a bit less if you are replacing fluorescents).  The result is a 10% cut in residential electricity use.  The effect is even greater if you add commercial buildings and greater yet (proportionally) in other countries.  

The next step is harder - worldwide, lighting is a much larger share of electricity consumption, and much of it is powered by coal and other fossil fuels.  LED cost is still significant, but again, the potential energy and emissions savings are huge.  This is where as a community we can push government and NG organizations to fund rapid adoption worldwide.

As I said, this is modest, but it is simple, immediate, and something where as alumni we can easily lead, and should.

What actions do you propose?

See summary above.  That's all there is to this one!

The point is we need not just to slow growth, but go backward.  This one has no downside (and getting fluorescents and CFLs out of the environment is a small plus too).

Do what you can today, do something more tomorrow!