Skip to content
November 17, 2010 / robertstockham

Wal Mart Puerto Rico Rolls Back Energy Costs with GE bulbs.


Walmart continues its run as a retail industry innovator with a 22-store, island-wide move to GE Evolve™ LED Area Lights. The completed project is expected to save up to 48 percent of the electricity traditionally required to light its parking lots, while cutting maintenance costs by an estimated 75 percent.

“Walmart is running hard and head-on at operational inefficiencies and sustainability concerns that it can address with technology solutions such as LEDs,” says Jaime Irick, president and CEO of GE Lighting Solutions. “This commitment to use GE Evolve LED area lighting in Puerto Rico builds on what Walmart has accomplished globally with LED systems in signage and refrigerated display cases. They’re continuing to set the standard for the industry.”

On average, nearly one-third of a Walmart store’s energy consumption is tied to lighting. In addition to substantial energy and maintenance cost savings, the new LED parking lot lighting significantly reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with Walmart Puerto Rico’s operations. Newly constructed Walmart stores in Puerto Rico will feature the energy efficient GE Evolve LED Area Lights.

“In 2009 alone, Walmart Puerto Rico’s operational energy efficiency initiatives saved more than 8.0-million kWh, equivalent to USD $1.4 million*. A large portion of these energy-efficient initiatives are tied to the continuous lighting improvements that Walmart is working with GE to help us achieve,” says Charles Zimmerman, vice president of international design and construction for Walmart. “Our latest initiative in Puerto Rico turns a high cost area such as outdoor lighting into an energy efficiency bellwether not only for our company on a global scale, but for the industry as a whole. We know outdoor LED lighting represents a huge opportunity for retailers to make strides economically and environmentally.”
Estimated 48 percent electricity savings and 75 percent maintenance savings
versus traditional technology

GE delivers lots of efficiencies
The GE Evolve LED Area Light combines the latest in LED system electronics, thermal management, mechanical and optical design to make the advantages of LED lighting a practical reality in parking lots and general lighting applications. It offers retailers new construction and retrofit alternatives to 400-watt and 1000-watt parking lot lighting while providing an estimated 10-year service life (50,000-hour rated life) that is four times the recommended service interval of a traditional high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting system such as metal halide.

Light-level uniformity improves significantly with the LEDs because they more effectively throw light where it is intended, reducing hot spots and dark spots. The result is less reflected light and glare at all viewing angles, and improved utilization for a positive impact on property appearance, security and pedestrian visibility.

Additionally, Evolve’s optics offer more directional focus of light for on-site activities in the parking lot and controlled perimeter spill light, while reducing off-site light pollution to surrounding areas. The luminaire’s low glare and high uniformity benefits promote improved performance in security camera operation, since cameras are susceptible to glare sources and work better with a smaller range of scene brightness.

“Many of our stores are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so replacing traditional metal halide parking lot lamps every couple years is costly,” adds Zimmerman. “We like the idea that GE’s outdoor LED systems only need to be replaced about every 10 years. In fact, we’re counting on that performance.”

Consuming from 97 to 220 watts (depending on the lighting distribution pattern), the GE Evolve LED Area Light replaces traditional 400-watt to 1000-watt HID systems that can spill and waste light. It also improves visibility and quality of light with a comparatively higher color temperature (5700K) versus standard HID and a 70-plus color-rendering index. GE accomplishes this with lower lumens and energy savings because the fixture’s advanced optical design leverages the LED characteristics to precisely deliver light and improve vertical foot candles. GE Evolve LED luminaires are RoHS compliant and contain no mercury or lead.

Walmart’s innovation heritage
Over the past several years, Walmart has engaged GE in Puerto Rico and around the world for LED lighting systems that have transformed how retailers light their stores—from outdoor signage to refrigerated display cases and now, parking lots.

Walmart Puerto Rico launched its Sustainable Development Program in 2007. The initiative established sustainable strategies to maximize energy efficiency, while reducing the amount of solid waste and gas emissions at all Walmart stores, Walmart Supercenters, Sam’s Club membership warehouses, Amigo Supermarkets, and Super Ahorros. As part of the effort, the company has successfully created alliances with the government, private ventures, communities, and environmentally concerned non-profit organizations.

GE Lighting Solutions, a proven expert in the LED category, has an expansive installed base of more than 25 million linear feet of LED lighting. GE offers an extensive line of high-performance LED product solutions, including lamps, architectural lighting, retail display, signage, outdoor lighting and transportation solutions. GE Lighting Solutions earned more awards than any other company in this year’s Next Generation Luminaires™ Competition, including a Best-in-Class award for the GE Evolve™ LED R150 Cobrahead Luminaire, a new LED street and roadway light. GE Lighting Solutions consists of GE Lighting’s light-emitting diode systems operation based in Cleveland and its commercial and industrial lighting fixture group in Hendersonville, North Carolina. The units were combined earlier this year to support a strategy to serve as an industry-leading solutions provider for the rapidly growing indoor and outdoor fixture segments that use LED systems and other energy-efficient lighting technologies.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), or “Walmart,” serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,400 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.0 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine’s 2009 Most Admired Companies survey. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting

About GE – Appliances & Lighting
GE—Appliances & Lighting spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliances, lighting, systems and services for commercial, industrial and residential use. Technology innovation and the company’s ecomaginationSM initiative enable GE—Appliances & Lighting to aggressively bring to market products and solutions that help customers meet pressing environmental challenges. General Electric (NYSE: GE), imagination at work, sells products under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Tetra®, Vio™ and Immersion® commercial brands. For more information, consumers may visit

*Based on Walmart Puerto Rico’s Yearly Electrical Expense Summary Report (2007-2009).


November 16, 2010 / robertstockham

A little bit of fun!

This lovely and fun set of videos are part of a series that can be found on You Tube.  One of the things that is key to our future is getting the younger generation involved.  By engaging younger audiences, you can ensure a brighter future.  Kick back and relax for a minute and share these gems with your kids.

November 15, 2010 / robertstockham

10 Ways to save energy NOW!

Of course there are many more, but here are 10 quick and easy ideas:

1. Clean your refrigerator coils. Vacuuming the dust out of your refrigerator coils makes it run more efficiently and thus saves energy.

2. Turn off the water while shaving and brushing your teeth. Gallons of potable water are flushed down the drain while we brush or shave. If you use hot water, it is even worse as you spend the energy on heating the water as well as the water itself.

3. Change your heater filter. The cleaner the filter, the more efficiently your heater will run. At a minimum, it should be changed every season.

4. Insulate hot water pipes. The unused hot water in your pipes cools quickly in winter. Insulating the pipes means that there will be less time (and water) wasted waiting for your shower to heat up.

5. Check your weather stripping. Replace old worn out weather stripping to create tight seals around windows and doors. Keep the warm air inside this winter.

6. Carpool one day a week. Simple, but true. One day a week could mean a huge impact on your fuel costs. Don’t like to carpool? Try public transportation one day a week. Who knows, maybe you will see that it isn’t so bad-soon you can skip the fuel costs, the parking, the maintenance, just by using the mass transit system in your town.

7. Wash your clothes in cold water. Clothes rarely get cleaner in hot water. If you are a hot water junkie, dial it down slowly, try warm for hot and cold for warm.

8. Replace standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. My favorite suggestion! If you want to know more, check out my earlier post on the subject.

9. Put master strips on major gadgets and appliances. Turning off the TV and DVD player rarely turns them all the way off any more. Unplug them at night or when away from home (or use a master strip that you can simply switch off). The clock on your VCR won’t read right-but does it now? Don’t forget about the chargers! Phone and gadget chargers still draw power, even when they are not charging anything. Unplug them when not in use.

10. Get a programmable thermostat. I cut our natural gas use significantly by installing one of these. It was easy to install, easy to program and cost about $30. Does your entire house need to be heated all day when no one is there to enjoy it?

November 13, 2010 / robertstockham

One Block Of The Grid

One Block Off the Grid is a dooperative effort to bring solar power to cities in big discounts. Imagine if you joined forces with your neighbors, friends, and the other solar power enthusiasts in your city to buy in bulk. How much could this group buying power reduce the cost of panels and installations? Enter One Block Off the Grid. 1BOG works to reduce solar power by negotiating discounts using the group buying power of a city. Check out the email that came today:

Hi One Block Off the Grid Member,

I wanted to let you know about a few exciting things going on here at One Block Off the Grid.

First, we’ve just launched a brand new referral program. You can invite friends to sign up for One Block Off the Grid, then see which ones actually do. If we determine that one of your friends is a good match for solar, we credit you $100 toward your own solar system. If one of your friends decides to go solar, we let you know! Visit your profile for more details on how it works.

We call this “the best way to help the environment,” because a growing body of research suggests friends and neighbors are more influential than anything else (i.e. the media or public figures) at inspiring green changes in their communities. That makes a lot of sense to us. We’ve seen that when one of our members goes solar, the people on their block instantly become 200% more likely to go solar too. Seeing your neighbor’s meter spin backward is powerful stuff.

In addition to our new referral program, I wanted to let you know that the look of our emails will be changing soon. Starting Monday, the regular emails you get from One Block Off the Grid will look less letter-like and instead show several key facts about the group discount in your area, including how many days are left and how many people in your neighborhood signed up recently.

So, help solar grow by inviting a few friends to join One Block Off the Grid, keep an eye out for the new emails, and in the meantime and if you have any questions at all, let us know. As always, thank you so much for being a member of our vibrant and growing community!


Shannon Coulter

Shannon Coulter, Director of Community
One Block Off the Grid: The smart, new way to go solar |

November 12, 2010 / robertstockham

Join Eco Watch

logo 3
Celebrate EcoWatch’s 5th Anniversary. 

Please consider joining EcoWatch and support our efforts to promote solution-based sustainability projects throughout Ohio.

EcoWatch is the number one media source for sustainability news in our state.  We provide a free service to the sustainability movement by providing a venue to get their news out to a broad audience.

Click here to join.

We appreciate your support!

membership 2
November 10, 2010 / robertstockham

Tips for natural remedies

This is a reprint from Great Lakes Green Pages. Please visit their blog for more.
Some Natural Tips for Healthier Living
Written by Robert Stockham

Here are a few natural tips passed on to me by friends. I haven’t tried them all myself, so I cannot speak to how well they all work. Also remember, I am NOT a doctor or vet, so use these ideas at your own peril! That being said, it is often the old fashioned remedies that work the best. The fancy packed, latest things that you see in the store are often the same basic ingredients as what is in your pantry or bathroom, just repackaged with some new scent and a colorful box. The less we buy, the more money we have for things that are really important-like that upgrade to a tankless water heater.

If you are flu-ish and suffering from sore muscles, I have been told that relief can be had from this natural cure: Mix 1 tablespoon horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil for instant relief for aching muscles.

Small minor burn? I have been told that Colgate toothpaste is a great salve. You can also try Preparation H (it is for swollen, burning tissues) and it can be used with a little lotion to shrink those bags under your eyes.

Many headaches are caused by dehydration. Before reaching for Tylenol or other pain reliever, try guzzling a couple of glasses of Gatorade. The electrolytes will balance the system and ease the headache quite quickly.

Chewing Altoids can bring relief to a stuffy nose-as can Chinese hot mustard.

Honey is a great treatment for many ills. It can help kill bacteria, so put some on a skin blemish and cover with a bandage for an overnight treatment. Mix equal parts with vinegar and take a tablespoon 6 times a day for sore throats.

Listerine is an antiseptic. Use it to close pores before bed. Minor cuts, broken blisters and other small injuries can be disinfected with it. It kills fungus, too-like athletes foot.

Splinter? Apply a little Elmer’s glue and let dry. It will often take the splinter out when you peel it off.

Vinegar applied to a bruise for an hour or so will speed healing and help with discoloration, if used right away. Tomato juice or sauce applied as a compress will speed healing of boils. Apply slightly cooled cooked oatmeal to hands for relief of arthritis pain.

Lemon juice and sunshine will naturally lighten medium hair and bring our highlights.

For insects-you can get rid of ticks by covering them with butter. They suffocate and can be easily removed. Try corn or vegetable oil for ear mites on your pet. Massage it in, then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat’s skin, smothers the mites, and accelerates healing. Formula 409 will kill wasps and hornets. Or try my favorite for all flying insects-Aqua Net extra hold. As it dries, bugs can no longer fly. Ants cannot resist sugar. Mix equal parts powdered sugar and Comet and place near ant entrances. They will take it back to the colony and will destroy them all.

Let me repeat that I am no doctor or vet. Some of these ideas are common knowledge. Some I have used myself over the years. Some i have never heard of. That being said, if you are trying to have a more natural home, some of these hints are worth a shot, and most are far less toxic than their chemical counterparts. Even better, you can wash them down the drain without the fear of old medications!

November 9, 2010 / robertstockham

Your family can save thousands of gallons of water.

We have been thinking about how important water is to us, and how we take it for granted all too often. While you may think oil is our most precious natural resource, water is the basis for life as we know it on the planet. Check out this video from Kohler:

Much of the world’s population doesn’t even have access to clean drinking water. Developing countries often have to use the same water to drink, bathe, wash clothes, even as a sewer. But here in the US we flush most of the water that we use. Another husge amount goes to providing us with that nice green lawn that we are so proud of…

For a few tips on how you can cut back on your water usage, check out this video…

A family of four can save 39,000 gallons of water a year!