Green Life Project is a weekly series of posts highlighting one change for readers to make in their lives in order to gradually green their lives.
This week’s green life project action item is to replace five of your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.
Of course, some of you may have already done this. If so, yes, by all means, take off this week and review our other Green Life Project posts to make sure your project is up-to-date.
But if you have not yet begun using CFL bulbs, you should! Consider:
- CFL bulbs use a quarter to a third of the energy that incandescent bulbs do. This means lower power bills!
- CFL bulbs do not give off as much heat, which proves to be good in the summer when you’re trying to keep cool! This is surprisingly also welcome during the winter as well simply because light bulbs make for an inefficient way to heat a home! Again, lower power bills!
- Great advances in the technology for CFL bulbs over the years has meant a larger variety of sizes and shapes for lamps and overhead lights while enjoying a similar quality of light to that produced by incandescent bulbs.
- CFL bulbs may cost a bit more upfront, but they burn out much less frequently. Over their lifetime, the energy savings far surpass the original cost of the bulbs.
How to do it?
- Determine how many bulbs you want to replace. I recommend starting with five, as this won’t cost too much for most folks and it’s enough to make an impact. The more you can manage to do now or over time, the better!
- Locate the five bulbs in your home that remain illuminated (”on”) for an hour or more at a time during the day. Think about kitchen, bedroom, and living room lights.
- Determine if any of these fixtures might need special shapes or sizes, such as one to replace a track light’s spotlight. Write down the wattage of bulb that you are replacing and the shape and size of each bulb.
- Go out to your local home improvement store and purchase the bulbs that you need.
- Replace your bulbs, keeping the old ones that are not yet burned out in case you need them in the future. Or, consider donating them to a shelter.
Great! Now you have reduced the amount of energy needed to light your home (meaning less overall pollution), you’re set to save money over time with reduced power bills, and you can recycle the CFL bulbs when they finally burn out!
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