Thinking about slowing climate change can be quite overwhelming to the individual. But rather than throwing your hands up in frustration, changing your incandescent light bulbs (the old school normal kind) for compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s) is a really easy and positive step towards making your very own carbon footprint a bit smaller. The technology for CFL’s in the home has come a long way since the early 2000’s, you can now get the bulbs in many different shapes, sizes, glow type, and fixture type. When your incandescent bulb dies, you simply match the lumen output of the incandescent and get the same lumen output CFL bulb, and you can choose the type of light that you want, if you prefer soft light, CFL’s have you covered.
There are many reasons to switch to CFL’s, you can help save the environment and also help save yourself some money! Replacing just one incandescent bulb with a CFL prevents 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emission from power plants. Saving electricity by using CFL’s reduces CO2 emissions, sulfur oxide, and high-level nuclear waste; they use about 50-80% less energy overall compared with incandescent bulbs. The bulbs are also more efficient for your pocket book by lasting up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Not only that, but CFL’s generate about 70% less heat than incandescent bulbs, saving money on cooling your home.
Are you worried because you heard that there is mercury inside CFL’s? Don’t worry, it is a very small amount, and is unlikely to cause any harm to you if it happens to break in your home. And, there are many ways to dispose of the light bulbs to make sure the mercury stays out of the landfills. Read this information from the Environmental Defense Fund if you are worried about mercury: http://blogs.edf.org/climate411/2007/07/31/cfl_mercury-2/?_ga=1.210947285.1701918196.1439003602
It is very easy to recycle your CFL’s, Home Depot and IKEA both take the bulbs for free, plus many other stores and agencies. You can check this website to find the recycling center nearest you (it will also tell you where to properly dispose of your electronics): http://search.earth911.com/
More great links to answer any compact fluorescent light bulb questions you may have: