Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Planet saving penny pinching

I splurged last week and bought a 4-pack of compact fluorescent lights (commonly called compact fluorescent lamps or CFLs). I plan to make some sort of environmentally beneficial change in my lifestyle or surroundings at least once a week between now and the end of the year. Better yet, I'll see what I can squeeze in and report it here once a week. It's part of my commitment to the Unplug Yourself initiative kick-started by blogger extraordinaire Jennifer over at Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings.

So the lights were on sale for $10. I have incandescent bulbs everywhere in my home -- mostly 60 watt bulbs since I opted to avoid 100 watt bulbs a few years ago, hoping to cut back a little that way. I replaced four of my 60 watt incandescents with these four 14 watt lights. I replaced the main light in my office, the main light in my dining room, my bedroom light and the kitchen light. My bathroom's lit with a vanity light strip above my mirror that uses big ol' globular bulbs; I'll have to see what I can dig up to replace those. I think you can get globe-shaped CFLs? I also want to replace the 40 watt bulbs in some of my other lamps with 11 watt CFLs and may do so this weekend.

I was worried about the mercury they contain, but the amount is apparently less than you'd find in a thermometer or watch battery. The issue gets discussed in greater detail in the Wikipedia entry on CFLs to which I've linked in the first paragraph of this post. The pros outweighed the cons for me. For even more information on CFLs, check out this entry at TreeHugger.

The light mine emit is cooler with regards to colour temperature than the old incandescents, but you can buy some that have a warmer light. I don't mind it. It's almost like adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls. Heheh.


J said...

Wahoo for getting some CFL's. I recall hearing about the mercury concerns awhile back and am glad to hear that they are still worth getting.

I noticed the light color wasn't the same as with our incandescent bulbs, but we just got used to it, now incandescent light seems harsh.

Oh, is this something you want me to link to in our "round-up" of posts by Unplug Yourself participants? I don't want to miss out on any posts intended for the initiative.

The ones where there is the word "unplug" in the title are pretty straight forward, but when people are actually creative with their titles, I have trouble. ;-)

J said...

Argh! I just saw the tag on this post! Nix my question!

M said...

Hey! I was just thinking of that myself and worked it into the text of the post. I'll change the title and make sure to include it in the future to avoid confusion. Thanks!!

The TreeHugger article has some really good info about mercury.