This is an archived article that was published on in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Baby boomers grew up on the saying "use it up, wear it out, do without." This motto embodied the true conservative movement which Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican hero, is associated with. Gov. Gary Herbert could take a lesson from our 26th president, and in the process clean up Utah's air.

Throughout the Salt Lake Valley, homes still light up their neighborhoods with Christmas lights. The average string of 100 incandescent Christmas lights consumes 40 watts of electricity, or .48 kilowatt-hours, which creates an estimated 11.2 pounds of carbon dioxide in Utah if left on for 12 hours. Doing simple things like taking down, or at least unplugging, your Christmas lights can work to reduce pollution and save you money.

In a state where the majority of our energy comes from coal-fired power plants, turning off the lights can mean big savings and cleaner air. The governor has the political power to order government offices to turn their lights off when they aren't vital and direct state agencies to use LED light bulbs, which last up to 50 times longer, saving Utah money, natural resources and added pollution. While Teddy Roosevelt is dead, conservatism doesn't have to be.

Mark Pittman

Salt Lake City

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