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Bright Idea: Change a Light, Change the World; Cross Country Bus Tour Heads to New Jersey and Concludes in New York City


he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 10-city national ENERGY STAR “Change a Light” bus tour will stop in Maplewood, N.J. on October 18 and conclude its 5,000-mile coast to coast trek with a 10,000 person pledge drive on October 23 in New York City’s Union Square Park. The tour promotes energy efficient lighting as an easy and money-saving way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg will join the tour at the Maplewood train station, and EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson will be on hand in the Big Apple. People across the country are being asked to take the ENERGY STAR Change a Light pledge, a commitment to change at least one light at home to a compact florescent bulb.

“We are asking each person to make a small gesture -- change a light bulb and have a huge positive impact on our planet,” said Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator. “By using lighting and other products with the ENERGY STAR seal of approval, you ensure both a bright and a green future for generations to come.”

If every U.S. household changed just one light bulb or fixture to an ENERGY STAR bulb, each year our country would save $600 million in energy costs, enough energy to light three million homes, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from more than 800,000 cars. Lighting counts for about 20 percent of a home’s electricity use. ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs and fixtures use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent lighting, with bulbs that last six to ten times longer. One ENERGY STAR qualified bulb can save about $30 or more in energy costs over its lifetime.

The bus began its journey on October 3 in California and is a state-of-the-art motor coach featuring a 2007 EPA model clean diesel engine powered by ultra low sulfur diesel fuel. The engine is fitted with a particulate scrubber, which means it does not allow particulate matter or nitrogen oxide to escape from the tailpipe. The bus is a reminder that we can reduce impact on the climate by taking public transportation when possible.

Inside is an interactive education center designed to demonstrate how important lighting choices are as a first step toward saving energy and helping fight global climate change. Visitors will experience first-hand the wide variety of ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs and fixtures available today, learn how to choose the right light for the right place in their home, and discover how and where to dispose of compact fluorescent lighting at end-of-life.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (TM), along with the town of Maplewood, invite you to come by the Maplewood train station on the 18th and visit the national bus and its interactive education center, where you can see for yourself why choosing energy-efficient lighting and taking further steps to save energy is so important. Event attendees will also be able to join New Jersey’s Clean Power Community Partners, state officials, and other residents in taking a pledge to change out five incandescent light bulbs to ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs. New Jersey’s goal is to encourage the change-out of 20,000 bulbs across the entire state. Come by to be part of this state-wide challenge.

8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Maplewood Train Station
At Dunnell Road and Maplewood Avenue

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is hosting the EPA bus during a 10K Day pledge drive in Union Square, with the goal of collecting 10,000 ENERGY STAR Change a Light pledges in New York State. The square will serve as “10K Day headquarters” where pledge results will be reported telethon-style from across the state.

7:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Union Square Park
Manhattan — between 14th and 18th Streets

ENERGY STAR is an EPA and U.S. Department of Energy program. More information is at


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