Friday, February 22, 2008

ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World Campaign

If you live in my town, you may have noticed an article in our town's newspaper about this change a light campaign we're doing. But, I know not everyone reads it cover to cover, so I thought I'd discuss it a little here.

If you don't live in my town, you might still be interested in reading, because other communities can become involved in this campaign, too. You may want to mention it to the powers that be.

My town is encouraging 200 residents to pledge to replace at least one old fashioned light bulb in their home with a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) that has earned the ENERGY STAR label. This campaign is kicking off on March 1, 2008.

If 200 residents change just one bulb per household, it is estimated that more than 80,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions will be saved over the life of those light bulbs. CFL's last 6-10 times as long as traditional bulbs and use 75% less energy. They cost more upfront, but save you money, and help save the planet, in the long run.

To sign up for the pledge, go to Energy Star's website, and click on "Join us, Take the Pledge." Fill out the form and in the organization box,  scroll down to our town's name (Borough of...) and pledge to change a light bulb (or 2 or 20). 

I know that a lot of people are leery of CFL's. They have a reputation of not giving off the same kind of light as traditional bulbs. I found this at first, too, but their quality has greatly improved over the past year and the ones I am buying now are better than the ones I bought a year ago.

Another concern is the fact that CFL's contain mercury and that the bulb's pose a hazard if they break. The hazard's are not that dangerous, and the EPA has a site that recommends what to do if one does break. Click, here, and scroll down the page to "What to Do if a Fluorescent Light Bulb Breaks."

You can also find the closest recycling center for CFL's, here, and I just found out as I was researching this that you can take CFL's back to IKEA stores where they have recycling bins.

For more info on CFL's you can go to Energy Star's information page on them, here.

Changing out light bulbs is one easy way that we all can become a little greener every day.

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