This October, we launched Flip the Switch, a brand new Earth Rangers Mission that gets families involved in fighting one of the biggest threats facing our planet today: climate change.

At Earth Rangers, we know that families – and kids in particular – play an important role in addressing environmental challenges, even big, global issues like climate change. That’s why we are encouraging kids to pick up the fight at home by switching to energy-efficient light bulbs to help cut the amount of electricity they use.

Wait a second! How exactly does saving electricity help reduce the impacts of climate change? The Flip the Switch Mission Brief explains:

When we burn coal, natural gas or other fossil fuels to generate electricity, we impact how quickly the climate is changing. This is because fossil fuels release greenhouse gasses when they are burned, which then build up in the Earth’s atmosphere and then cause the planet to warm faster than it has in the past.

That’s why it’s so important for us to save electricity.

So many bulbs, so little time: get to know your energy saviors

Which bulb is the right choice for your kids’ energy-saving Mission? There are a lot of different options up for grabs, so we’ve put together an executive summary to keep you focused.

Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light emitting diodes (LEDs) are a great deal more efficient and last up 25 times longer. LEDs are also cool-headed by comparison, helping improve both efficiency and safety. Here are the bulbs laid bare, so to speak, courtesy of Toronto Hydro:

  • Produces more heat than light
  • Federal ban now in effect
  • Fragile
  • Landfill disposal
  • No. of bulbs needed for 25,000 hours of use: 25
  • Total operational cost over 23 years: $205
  • 70% more efficient than incandescents
  • Contains mercury
  • Must be disposed at special facility
  • No. of bulbs needed for 25,000 hours of use: 3
  • Total operational cost over 23 years: $48
  • Works indoors and out
  • More durable
  • Recyclable
  • Cool to the touch
  • No. of bulbs needed for 25,000 hours of use: 1
  • Total operational cost over 23 years: $38

Efficiency! But at what cost?

Sticker shock is often cited as one of the biggest reasons why people still have old hot-headed energy-wasting incandescents burning the night away. But fear not: prices have come down dramatically over the past few years, with a single LED bulb landing somewhere in the $8 range. If this still feels like too much, consider the long-term gains. With an average electricity cost of 0.12/kwh, your LED light would cost your family a total of $38 over a period of 23 years. Incandescents, on the other hand, would run you around $205 over the same period. That’s $167 fewer dollars, 24 fewer bulbs and a generous amount of energy saved.

The final word on Flip the Switch lies with Ranger Lisa, a Mission participant, and big-time energy saver. She says: “By saving energies, I could help protecting the earth, in order to protect animals and us.”

Ranger Lisa show us watts up by replacing incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient LEDs. 

Want to get your kids involved? Sign them up for Flip the Switch on our website.

Flip the Switch is generously supported by