Mission: Green Light New Orleans invests energy in people by assisting New Orleans residents in person, one household at a time. Our volunteers install free energy efficient light bulbs and backyard vegetable gardens and rain barrels to demonstrate that a mass movement of individual actions creates a significant impact on our environment and community. We connect New Orleans residents to relevant, local opportunities and encourage individual actions so that everyone can benefit from a vibrant, resilient, and sustainable community.
Results: Green Light New Orleans supports local families by helping them take actions that conserve energy and make their homes more sustainable, lowering monthly bills and improving the shared environment. Founder and Executive Director Andreas Hoffmann started Green Light in 2006 as a way to offset the carbon footprint of his touring band. What began as a small project has grown to engage over 27,000 New Orleans households and over 12,000 volunteers in the local fight against global climate change. To date, Green Light has built 550 backyard vegetable gardens and installed 600,000 energy efficient light bulbs and 110 rain barrels, saving residents $27 million in utility costs and preventing 270 million pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.*
In addition to its free backyard vegetable garden and energy efficient light bulb programs, Green Light makes an impact through a diverse array of services. Green Light has signed thousands of residents up for the citywide curbside recycling program; distributes air filters to promote indoor air quality and energy efficiency; provides smart strips to combat phantom power; refers residents to the New Orleans Fire Department to receive free smoke detectors; Green Light also installs backyard gardens and rain barrels; engages hundreds of local college and high school students in service learning and internship programs; and mobilizes thousands of volunteers each year in the fight against climate change.
*Impact data updated 10/10/17
Target demographics: the environment and the community
Direct beneficiaries per year: 4000 families
Geographic areas served: The Greater New Orleans Area
Programs: installing free energy efficient light bulbs and free backyard vegetable gardens to lower our carbon footprint, create a budget reduction, provide access to healthy food and build community.
This is a great organization that gives you the opportunity to volunteer and interact with the people you are serving on a personal level. The impact that you make on these peoples lives by doing something as simple as changing their light bulbs is tremendous. One woman we changed light bulbs for was crying because the new light bulbs were going to save her hundreds of dollars on her monthly energy bill. This nonprofit is truly making a huge impact on the environment and economy of New Orleans.
I volunteered with Green Light to install CFLs in homes around the Hoffman Triangle in New Orleans. I worked with an awesome team of 4 high school students and we were given four addresses to visit. Three of the four families were home, invited us in, and helped us replace all the incandescent light bulbs in the house! Once finished, we tallied the # of bulbs replaced and calculated up the total savings in wattage, carbon, and $$ saved on an average electricity bill! I loved talking with the homeowners and fellow volunteers, and will be donating more time to GLNO in the future!
I interned with GLNO during the summer of 2011. It was an amazing learning experience; not only did I get to work with a staff of dedicated and inspired individuals, but I also learned a lot about the process of becoming a more energy-efficient community. In my opinion, part of what is so great about this organization is that by providing free energy-efficient light bulbs to homes in the greater New Orleans area they are helping in three ways: by reducing the carbon footprint, educating others on energy efficiency, and providing energy-efficient light bulbs to those who might not otherwise be able to afford them. Out of all the many organizations I have had the pleasure of working with in New Orleans, I had the most positive experience at Green Light New Orleans.
I volunteered with GLNO nearly a year ago today and the experience was so positive that we have now helped to extend their concept to South Carolina with the sub-group Green Light South Carolina. The goals of this organization are to change every incandescent light bulb to compact fluorescent bulbs with 75% energy savings and carbon emissions. With 10-20% of the total energy used in lighting this country, this is a first logical step and easiest to implement to reduce our carbon output. Much more needs to be done in a very short time (within one decade), but this is a significant start! GLNO and GLSC is unique in that we actually go into the homes and install cfls primarily in homes of lower income and elderly.