Someone asked me an interesting question the other day. It was a good one that I really stopped to think about for a minute. They wanted to know how they could make an impact on the environment quickly, easily, and affordably.
So I thought about all the things I’ve talked about here, and tried to narrow that down to something simple and easy that would have an impact.
Here’s what I came up with.
I told him to take a ride down to Home Depot, Lowes, (or the retailer of your choice) and pick up a dozen or so CFL’s (compact fluorescent light bulbs for those out of the loop) and install them in every light fixture in his house.
At roughly $1 a piece nowadays, there’s absolutely no reason not to upgrade to CFL’s. You’ll not I said ‘upgrade’ because yes, saving energy and money is an upgrade.
For around $20 his home is now upgraded with 20 or so CFL’s.
Bottom line? What did he save? Let’s just do some rough math. Assume that every bulb in his house was a 60 watt (I’m sure there were a variety of 25’s, 40’s, 60’s and 100’s but were roughing this). 60 watts a piece times 20 bulbs is 1200 watts. If those bulbs were run 8 hours a day, it would cost roughly $30 a month. Doesn’t seem like much, but after the switch to CFL’s the same 1200 watts would be cut down to 260 watts, which would run about $3 a month.
Now it seems like a lot. A $20 light bulb change immediately saves you $27 a month, or $324 a year.
The energy saved not only equates to money in your pocket, but carbon saving for the Earth. If everyone made the switch to CFL’s, we would be in a much safer place environmentally.
Food for thought, some countries have already begun banning standard incandescent light bulbs in favor of CFL’s. If the US made the switch to CFL’s into law, the energy and carbon savings would be wild.
What can you do? Go buy a shopping cart full of CFL’s. Swap every bulb in your house, give some to your neighbors, give them as gifts, and get the word out. (No, I don’t own stock in a CFL company; I do however think that lighting changes are the fastest and easiest ways to save money and the planet.)