Saratoga Springs’ CFL Community Challenge

By Wylie Brown
Guest Blogger
Clean Air-Cool Planet


The Community CFL Challenge in Saratoga Springs, NY, was a multi-tiered campaign that sought to build community-wide engagement around the procurement of more energy efficient lighting. Our goal was to market a win-win proposition for all stakeholders that participate–local commerce benefits, individuals save money, we lessen our individual and collective environmental footprint, and perhaps most importantly, we would act together as neighbors towards a common good.

The campaign was spearheaded by the Local Living Guide, which is eager to share the benefits and responsibilities with business, non-profit, volunteer groups and individuals. The campaign would not have been successful if not for Allerdice Hardware, the Sustainability Challenge Working Committee at Skidmore, and a number of individuals who put forth their time and energy to make this campaign successful.

Saratoga Springs business card

Saratoga Springs' business card!

 Our approach was to engage local residents as inspired by the organizing models developed by David Gershon. Our strategy was a block by block strategy that leverages a basic need of humans: to connect with our neighbors. We armed what we called “block leaders” with the tools to powerfully engage their neighbors with minimal effort and maximum success. This method of communicating was successful because it allowed neighbors to get to know one another while doing good for their community. The biggest challenge we ran into was finding individuals willing to take up the role of block leader. The 24 individuals who gave up their time for this campaign were friends and community members that we knew to be active members in the local environmental movement.

Throughout this campaign we engaged 23 Block Leaders. There were 93 orders at Allerdice and 47 bulb orders online. That’s a total savings for the residential community of $9,437.12 and a total reduction in C02 footprint of 90,327 lbs (40.97 tons!). Although we haven’t reached our primary goals for this campaign, with the door hangers left we plan to continue reaching out to block leaders and distributing light bulbs into this fall.

Although our campaign has not yet reached its original goals for carbon reduction, we have established a strong network for future success. As a pilot program the Community CFL Challenge leaves us with CCFopportunities to refine our strategies and continue reaching out to our community. With the money provided to us by Clean Air-Cool Planet, we now have the resources to continue searching for block leaders and greater success. We are very grateful for the opportunity that CA-CP has given us and we will continue working hard to create a better, cleaner, and more sustainable community in Saratoga Springs.

Explore posts in the same categories: Carbon Management, Climate, Climate Science, Community Action, Energy Efficiency, Fundraising, Global Warming, Planning, Research and Development, Solutions

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One Comment on “Saratoga Springs’ CFL Community Challenge”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Heath Lackey, CampusSustainability. CampusSustainability said: Saratoga Springs’ CFL Community Challenge [...]

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