Green Light New Orleans hosted a half dozen out-of-state volunteer groups in the first two weeks of 2018. These volunteers came from as far away as Zimbabwe and Angola and spent part of their time in New Orleans helping us replace light bulbs, build gardens and install rain barrels.
One group in particular, the Bonner Community Scholars from Macalester College in Minnesota, has spent time with Green Light each year for almost 10 years.
Students in the Bonner Community Scholars program perform 8-10 hours of community service each week for four years while in college.
As part of the Bonner Community Scholars’ curriculum, students can participate in the Education, Community and Cultural Survival course, which focuses on New Orleans’ post-Katrina rebuilding efforts.
Ruth Janisch, associate director of educational partnerships for college access and success, said the college’s students continue returning to Green Light New Orleans because the light bulb program is a “win-win-win.”
“The triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental justice is great,” Janisch said.
Janisch remembers serving with Green Light in the years following Hurricane Katrina, when many streets were missing streets signs and the city was still reeling from the storm.
“Working with Green Light was such a great way to make a difference,” she said.
While working with Green Light on Jan. 15, Bonner Community Scholars students changed 105 light bulbs, resulting in energy-cost savings of $4,830 for New Orleans residents, and reducing the city’s CO2 output by 46,935 lbs.
Through the first two weeks of 2018, Green Light New Orleans volunteers have changed more than 1,700 light bulbs throughout the Greater New Orleans area.
To sign up for free energy-efficient light bulbs, complete an application here.
For more information on Bonner Community Scholars and Macalester College, click here.