Lights Off. Screens On: NBCU Adds New Element to Earth Week Initiatives

NBCUniversal has added a new filament, er element, to its annual celebration of Earth Week (actually Earth Five Days, April 21-25). “Lights Off. Screens On" is the latest environmental awareness campaign from the company, asking multitaskers to bathe in the glow of all those video screens and spare a bulb or two.

The idea is to reduce carbon footprints by turning off the lights when watching TV's, computers, tablets or smartphones, often in combination.

According to government stats, says NBCU, if every household in the country turned off just two light bulbs for an hour every day, it would save upwards of five billion kilowatts-hours of electricity annually.

NBCU properties will drive traffic to a new Web site, where, starting April 21, they can pledge to turn off the lights and enter a contest to win an energy efficient TV set and other environmentally themed prizes, such as Green Is Universal themed mugs and T-shirts.

On Earth Day, the Universal Orlando theme park will feature a solar recharging lounge and playground equipment that will harness all that youthful energy to help "power" the event.

The party moves to Universal Studios Hollywood April 25 with a Lights Off. Screens On. Music Fest" featuring Syfy's McKenzie Westmore (wouldn't that make it a Lights Off. Screens On. FaceOff" event?) and Mun2's Liz and Jackie, as well as bands and DJ's, with the dancers powering the party thanks to a “kinetic" dance floor (is there a Green Peacock version of the “funky chicken?”)

In its seventh year, Green is Universal is NBCUniversal’s effort to raise environmental awareness and make its operations more sustainable, thus making its own contribution to a greener planet. The company airs green-themed content throughout the year, but gets especially green-focused around Earth Week.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.