October 03, 2007
Change a Light. Change the World.
Posted by Lisa Fairfax
Apparently Wal-Mart’s campaign to encourage its customers to buy compact fluorescent light bulbs has paid off. Today Wal-Mart announced that it has surpassed its goal to sell 100 million compact fluorescent light bulbs by the end of this year. In fact, Wal-Mart’s goal in its "Change a Light. Change the World." campaign is to sell 100 million more by the end of 2008. At about $2 to $3 each, the bulbs are at least eight times more expensive than an ordinary light bulb. However, the bulbs preserve energy resources because apparently one bulb keeps half a ton of greenhouse gas out of the air. Moreover, the bulbs last longer, saving customers money over the long run. The bulbs also reduce electricity costs--100 million bulbs saves about $3 billion in electricity costs.  With all that going for them, one would think they would have been selling without Wal-Mart's campaign.  However, these light bulbs have been around for years and companies have not experienced significant success in selling them or otherwise getting people to purchase them as an environmentally-friendly alternative.  According to one source, in the beginning of 2007, only six percent of households used them. But Wal-Mart launched an aggressive campaign to change that, and its announcement today suggest that the campaign has been successful.  So whether just a clever marketing ploy to spruce up its image or a genuine effort to preserve the environment (or a little of both), Wal-Mart has certainly used its resources in a way that has had a positive impact on the environment.

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