Hawai‘i's Blue Planet Foundation wants to share an inspiring success story. By way of background, our current mission is to end Hawai‘i's dependence on fossil fuels and pave the way for a clean energy future for the Islands—within a decade. Right now, a whopping 90 percent of our energy comes from imported oil. Entirely unsustainable. So, how to accomplish such a daunting task? Well, with lots of bold ideas, followed by passion and action. During a brainstorming session, we thought, "What if we changed out every energy-gobbling incandescent bulb on the island of Moloka‘i?" The whole island? That would be an audacious goal, indeed. 

We ran with it, and with the avid participation of the island's (population ~ 7,500) tight-knit community, 36,000 CFL bulbs were distributed over a three-month campaign. The result? The CFL exchange saves Moloka‘i residents 17 GWhrs of electricity, 24,000 barrels of oil, and $6.5 million over the lives of the bulbs. It also keeps 16,000 tons of greenhouse gases from polluting the atmosphere. After the project was completed, a follow-up survey showed that 42 percent of participating residents saw an immediate decrease in their energy bill, 68 percent are looking for additional ways to reduce energy use, and 88 percent would consider participating in future energy savings programs. 

According to our special projects director Francois Rogers, who oversaw the campaign, "We designed the project to help the community reduce its dependence on imported oil, and the result is that Moloka‘i has become a shining example of how an island community can achieve energy independence through energy efficiency practices." The philosophy behind the Moloka‘i project isn't limited by geographic or cultural boundaries. We really want to encourage others to adapt the Moloka‘i model to a community-wide bulb swap campaign that would work in your neighborhoods! You can find out more about our project at

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