I replaced all of my incandescent light bulbs in my apartment with compact fluorescent light bulbs. I never did this before because I heard they were outrageously expensive. Not anymore. I went to Home Depot and bought a pack of four 60 “watt” equivalent bulbs for just $7.70. I also got some 100 “watt” equivalent bulbs for about $3 each.
They are guaranteed for 10 years of usage…..you read that right…..10 years ( no more getting up on the step ladder ) and they use 1/4 the power of incandescent bulbs. I am told they will make a noticeable difference in my electric bills and will pay for themselves.
I am also told that if more Americans used compact fluorescent light bulbs, it could reduce air pollution enough to make a noticeable, positive effect on global warming. Australia and the European Union both passed laws recently to make incandescent bulbs illegal in a few years.
Though the bulbs contain small amounts of the toxin mercury, they have the potential to reduce, dramatically, the amount of mercury in our air. Many older coal fired power plants do not have to install pollution scrubbers, because of a loop hole in a law that states these plants do not have to install scrubbers until they spend past a certain amount of money on maintenance in a given year. So, these companies never spend beyond that amount. They are free to keep belching toxic mercury into our air.
Maybe some young environmentalists out there can look up this law and post it on the web in a friendly format for people to learn about. That might create enough pressure to get those loop holes changed and the mercury out of our air.
In the meantime , by reducing the power for our lighting by 75% – which these bulbs do – we can cut those mercury emissions by reducing our demands on those older coal fired powered plants. It doesn’t matter where you live and what kind of power plants are close to you, all of the electricity generated by the power companies goes into a common pool for distribution called “the grid”. You really can’t be sure of where you electricity comes from in most cases.
Because compact fluorescent light bulbs do contain mercury, please do not throw them out. Call your township or read lamprecycle.org to find out how to dispose of them.
These things are so cool!