A fluorescent light bulb is an easy way for people to conserve energy, as explained by an article in the New York Times:
It uses 75 percent less electricity, lasts 10 times longer, produces 450 pounds fewer greenhouse gases from power plants and saves consumers $30 over the life of each bulb.Now, with Wal-Mart's help, this technology could help to reduce the nation's collective energy use.
So why, aside from feeling some social responsibility, is Wal-Mart setting its sights so high and trying to sell so many of these light bulbs? Well, that's up for debate, but as James Kunstler points out in "Making Other Arrangements," an article in the January/February issue of Orion magazine, with less oil will come necessary lifestyle changes that could threaten the Wal-Mart way of life.
We're not going to run Wal-Mart, Walt Disney World, or the Interstate Highway System on solar or wind energy, hydrogen, ethanol, tar sands, oil shale, or anything else you can name. We will desperately use many of these things in many ways, but we are likely to be disappointed in what they can actually doThe more energy we conserve, the less oil we use, and the longer places like Wal-Mart will be able to survive. Regardless of the company's motivation, using less energy is an environmentally friendly endeavor. So put on your sweater and curl up by the fluorescent light.