In this week's environmental news round up, scientists reported on an oil-eating bacterium and San Francisco gave away thousands of LED lightbulbs.

SF participates in “Largest LED Lightbulb giveaway in history”

In a massive LED lightbulb giveaway, last week San Francisco city officials began handing out 100,000 free LED light bulbs to citizens. Bulbs are being handed out at public libraries, the SF Unified School District, and to organizations serving disadvantaged communities.

San Francisco Department of Environment Director Debbie Raphael estimated utility savings will be over $1 million, once all light bulbs are installed. Each bulb lasts about 22 years, using a sixth of the energy of a conventional light bulb.

Read more at the SF Chronicle

Cleaning up future oil spills with Bacteria

Image Credit: Creative Commons Timmer66. Microorganisms such as A. borkumensis are able to oxidize the environmentally harmful hydrocarbons while producing harmless products.[/caption]

The National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS) in Quebec, Canada has recently discovered a hydrocarbon-hungry bacterium called Alcanivorax borkumensis that consumes oil found in soil and in water.

As more Obama-era environmental regulations get rolled back, and the number of offshore drilling sites and national oil pipelines increases, this discovery by INRS could result in an effective and eco-friendly answer to the inevitable future increase in oil leaks.

These bacteria are found naturally in oceans, and may contribute to the natural degradation of oil in oceans. They accomplish this through an enzyme that breaks up hydrocarbons, which the bacterium uses for energy.

Read more at Science Daily

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