Let There Be Light!
If every American home replaced just one standard incandescent light bulb with a long-lasting CFL, we would prevent the equivalent of 800,000 cars worth of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.
This week, The Weekly Beet flips the switch, reporting just how easy it is to create a quick energy savings on the home front. Mary Kent lights up, while replacing those frosted, 40-watters of yester year.
It's a battle of the bulb with a huge energy debate as to which light you'll choose to illuminate! Positioned on the front lines are the infamous Incandescent and the Compact Fluorescent (CFL), while trailing behind is the not so known LED (light emitting diode). All invented for the sole purpose of brightening our world by a man named Thomas Edison, who took all the credit, but perhaps not the idea, it seems that the light bulb has the power to make us all flip the switch. Fighting over price, output, lifespan, and performance, the Compact Fluorescent seems to be leading the pack with its killer, coiled exterior. The Compact Fluorescent does indeed make a statement with its reputation for saving energy, but is it the most eco-friendly choice Mother Earth has been looking for?
Though twice as expensive as the Incandescent, you'll pay more upfront with a Compact, but in the long run you'll save at least $30 per bulb, as the CFL does use less power! And, with a life span between 6,000 and 15,000 hours, how can you resist such snake-like charm? While the prehistoric Incandescent only gives us 750 hours, the CFL has enticed us with alot more than just it's age! Here are a few more reasons we're making the switch from
- To save money! Not only will you save on your energy bill, you'll save on your light bulb allowance.
- To save energy! According to Energy Star,"If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a CFL, we would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year."
- To save the environment! The EPA and DOE also notes that if we all change one bulb, Americans would "prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the
emissions of nearly 800,000 cars."
- To save your eyes! New CFLs have been made for better lighting of the home. Gone are the yellow and blue hues!
With energy conservation at the forefront, here are some statistics that just might blow your fixture:
- There are approximately 4 billion light bulb sockets in the US.
- Of the 2 billion residential sockets in the US, only about 10% are compact fluorescent.
- Americans purchase about 2 billion residential light bulbs a year or about 5.5 million bulbs a day.
- The average US house has 45 bulbs in 30 fixtures.
- Americans spend approximately $71 billion a year in electricity on lighting. That is 22% of the total US electricity bill.
- The average US electric rate is $0.1008 / kWh or about 10 cents.
- Average US household use for lighting: 1950 kWh per household.
- In California, an estimated 73 million incandescent
light bulbs and 6 million compact fluorescent are sold
Though CFLs are an excellent alternative, are they really the best way to go? We did a bit of research and found that the CFL does contain that pesky little substance that we hate so much: MERCURY! So, take serious precaution as the filament of these bulbs contains the slippery, silver stuff. Studies show that the mercury from one fluorescent bulb can pollute 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe levels for drinking. And, when the time comes to throw them out? It's actually against the law to toss CFLs in the trash, so call 800-CLEANUP or visit www.earth911.org to learn what to do! It's a tough call because the CFL does help save energy, but with 600 million fluorescent lamps being disposed of in U.S. landfills, which amounts to 30,000 pounds of mercury waste, this bulb may be only a temporary solution. There is a light bulb called the LED, which is slowly creeping out of it's shell. The LED uses light emitting diodes, as opposed to electric filaments or gas. The price is much more expensive than the CFL, but the LED does NOT contain Mercury like the CFL. So, already we have a safer choice for the environment. And life span? The LED blows CFLs out of the water with 50,000 hours. Be on the look-out for the LED bulb, as it just may be the answer to saving both our energy and the environment!
Click here to make the pledge that you'll make the change to Energy-Saving Bulbs!
The choice is up to you! Flip the switch and change your bulbs! Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned for next week.
PS. MK is wearing necklace by Jane Pope Jewelry. She is holding a CFL light bulb.
PPS. Missed our last Beet? We were with the Lotus Flowers!
PPPS. Check out Television Personality and Producer, Author, Syndicated Columnist, and Public Speaker, Debbie Travis, on Ladies Who Launch.
PPPPS. Check out Prana's new collection! It's great!