Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Switch 'Em Out!

One of the ways to green up your life a little bit (and would make a great New Year's resolution) is to really think about and start saving some electricity. There are many ways to do this. One is to switch out all your light bulbs from incandescent to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL's). The easiest way to do this is to buy a pack of CFL's and replace your incandescents as they burn out, and then vow to never buy an incandescent light bulb again!

CFL's cost more than incandescent light bulbs do up front, but they also last about ten times longer. And the energy that they consume is about 75% less than incandescents as well. According to livescience.com, replacing one incandescent bulb with a CFL reduces CO2 gas by about 500 lbs. per year. CFL's use the electricty that is pouring into them to produce light, while incandescent light bulbs expound a lot of heat while also producing light. Most of the energy that is used by incandescent light bulbs produces heat, instead of light, which is why CFL's are so much more energy efficient.

The trick with CFL's, however, is how to dispose of them. Never throw them away!! In order for CFL's to be so energy efficient, they must be made with small amounts of mercury. If they are just thrown into the landfill, this murcury can accumulate and seep into the earth and pollute ground water. So use some caution when handling CFL's and when disposing them, always take them to a recycling center. If you live in Salt Lake County, you can take your spent CFL's to these "hot spot" Salt Lake County Libraries:
  • Bingham Creek, 4834 W. 9000 South, West Jordan.
  • Calvin Smith, 810 E. 3300 South, Millcreek.
  • Whitmore, 2197 E. Fort Union Blvd. (about 7000 South), Cottonwood Heights.
  • Draper, 1136 E. Pioneer Road (12400 South), Draper.
  • Hunter, 4740 W. 4100 South, West Valley City.
  • Magna, 8339 W. 3500 South, Magna.
  • South Jordan, 10673 S. Redwood Road (1700 West), South Jordan.
  • R.V. Tyler, 8041 Wood St. (55 West), Midvale.
  • or if you don't want to head over to your local library like the ones above, you can recycle them at the Salt Lake Valley Solid Waste Management Facility, 6030 W. California Ave, or the Trans-Jordan Cities Landfill, 10873 S. 7200 West, in South Jordan
Another option, and this applies nationally, is to take them down to any Home Depot or Ikea store. Both franchises have the facilities to recycle CFL's properly. To find out where to recycle CFL's in your area, visit the EPA's website. To check out some safety tips on how to clean up broken CFL's and how to recycle them properly, check it out here.

Photo Credit

1 comment:

Deborah said...

This is a great idea, and if you switch all the bulbs at once, you should see a difference in your electric bill in one month, especially if you keep a lot of lights on.