October is Energy Awareness Month so the entire month will be dedicated to tips of conserving energy around the house or at work. How many light bulbs does it take to change the world? If you answered ‘Just One’ you were correct. If every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb, we would collectively save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, save more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.
That’s a pretty big savings but what will it save YOU? Here are some more fun facts about CFL bulbs:
· CFL bulbs last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs so you won’t have to replace them as often.
· CFL bulbs produce 75% less heat; so you won’t have to cool your home as often.
· If you changed only 5 bulbs you would save $65 on your energy bill the first year; think how much you would save if you changed all of them.
How did I make the switch? Every time an incandescent bulb burns out I replace it with a CFL bulb. Since the CFL bulbs are slightly more expensive you don’t have to change them all at one time; after all the old bulbs are still working. Also, all ENERGY STAR® certified CFL bulbs come with a 2 year guarantee. If they burn out just take them back to the store for a refund.
There’s one more important tip. Don’t throw out your CFL bulbs when they burn out. They contain a minute amount of mercury and should be handled as a household hazardous waste. Check with your local solid waste department for disposal options or look up the closest location on Earth911. Visit www.18Seconds.org to see the impact of changing just one bulb.
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