Saturday, November 17, 2007

Little Spending Choices can Light the Way

Hola Conscious Spenders,
I have been reading a lot of articles and listening to people talk about ways we can help make the planet a better place by conserving and making better choices and one pattern I hear a lot is that small, simple choices can make a big difference (if we all take part!)

I thought I'd kick off the weekend with a simple conscious spending tip - when it is time to replace those light bulbs, buy compact.

There was a great article in Fast Company in 2006 Called How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change the World? One.

According to the article:
"Compact fluorescents emit the same light as classic incandescents but use 75% or 80% less electricity.

What that means is that if every one of 110 million American households bought just one ice-cream-cone bulb, took it home, and screwed it in the place of an ordinary 60-watt bulb, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people. One bulb swapped out, enough electricity saved to power all the homes in Delaware and Rhode Island. In terms of oil not burned, or greenhouse gases not exhausted into the atmosphere, one bulb is equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the roads.

That's the law of large numbers--a small action, multiplied by 110 million." (Source:

So if Home Depot is on your weekend shopping list, pick the compact fluorescents!


Sunny Day said...

True. We've switched most of our light bulbs, and our electric bill has been reduced by about 20%

Gillette said...

Don't forget to mention that these lightbulbs are HIGHLY toxic (mercury is in them) and MUST be disposed of as such.

Who the heck reads the veryveryvery fine print hidden in the corner of the packaging that contains the warning?

Do NOT throw them away. Find out what your local program for toxic waste is and only dispose of them there as the mercury leaches and will cause huge problems for future generations.

Miss Margaret Aurelia said...

I'm doing a neighborhood light bulb exchange. I'll buy 1 CFL for each neighbor on my block for 50 cents each. They must forfeit an incandescent bulb to claim their free bulb.

To Gillette: The CFLs last a very long time and are much harder to break than the fragile incandescent ones. We should be ok for a while at least.

Scratching-out-a-living said...

Good points. Keep in mind that florecsent blubs do give off different light wave lengths than regular lightblubs and as such can affect different people differently. I use to work in a large corporation that was experimenting with different types of light wave lengths to keep people from falling asleep or getting irratible. It seems that there have been several studies that point to the fact that floresencent lights are not that good for human health. I would also like to see the reports on halogen bulbs too.

Yearn to travel said...

The whole light bulb switching idea seems great, but after reading some of the other comments, is it just me or does it seem like we often substitute one problem for another.I would like to know more about the toxicity issue and just how are they ultimately disposed of?
It brings to mind the movie I saw lat night...Lions and Lambs...what's fail for lack of trying or to try and fail anyhow?

The Traveling Wombury said...

Hey there. Good blog. I write one that deals with similar issues, called "Off the Grid". I'd like to post a link to this one, if you wouldn't mind.

Creative_Clan said...

What a nice blog

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Anonymous said...

The Fred Meyer Stores in Portland, OR have had these bulbs in all sizes for a dollar each.
I'm working on replacing all my bulbs, in stages!