Look into the Light: the CFL

compact fluorescent lightbulb (cfl) on green backgroundIf you ask Simran about compact florescent light bulbs, she may crack one open and cut you. Not really, that would scatter mercury, but she is loca for the light bulbs. Check Monday’s Huffington Post for the full version of this post.

People give you this whole rap about how easy saving the planet is. Change a light bulb and save the world. Yes and no. How about we consider it a start rather than an end destination?

Lighting accounts for about 20% of our electric bills. Traditional bulbs burn heat rather than light, so are extremely inefficient. Compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) are 80% more efficient and can last up to 10 times longer than a traditional bulb. Last December, Congress voted to phase out the inefficient incandescent. By 2012, the 100-watt bulb will be history.

In the interim, environmentally-minded folks of all ilks are heralding the bulb. The virtual Stop Global Warming march reminds us swapping out three incandescent bulbs for CFLs will save us 300 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $60 a year. The Coalition On the Environment and Jewish Life suggests installing CFLs for Hanukkah as a way to redefine β€œenergy-stretching light” and reflect environmental stewardship. Students in Pennsylvania sell light bulbs instead of candy to raise money for their schools. (Simran prefers candy.)

If you haven’t changed your bulbs, get with the program. The light is a lot prettier than what you remember from your high school cafeteria.

Thanks to the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Lacey Johnston for research assistance.

Written by simran_sethi

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