One of my New Year’s blog-o-lutions: balance “armchair activism” and fun stuff on the web with actions that actually move one away from the computer! Here’s an easy one: replace one (just one) traditional light bulb with a compact flourescent bulb (CFL).
The U.S government’s Energy Star division states: “If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.” If that’s not impressive enough, you’ll also save about $30 in energy costs over the life of each bulb.
Environment Defense’s How to Pick a Better Bulb page recommends starting with just one bulb, to make sure the quality of the light works for you. If you have been disappointed with CFLs in the past, they also suggest choosing a bulb listed between 2650 and 2850 degrees Kelvin or labeled “warm white.” And you don’t have to use the crazy swirly bulbs that look like a Mr. Softee cone (although I kinda like them): the bulb pictured at right is a CFL too.
Still need more incentive? The shopping site SpringLight is currently offering free shipping on all their energy saving bulbs; look for the promo on their front page, or just enter the code FSWS1207 at checkout. Your local utility may offer rebates for the bulb purchases. Check out their home page, or check up the Million Car Carbon Campaign’s rebate map to locate a program (most listed are in the Midwest). CFLs are now also available at many grocery, discount, and home improvement stores.
Today’s mitzvah: Take the plunge: Change one light bulb to a compact fluorescent.