Here are two things that nobody wants to see increase:
1. Your Power Bill
We're going to show you a small step you can take that can turn these arrows the other way.
Here's the deal. We're focused on your friendly household light bulb - the incandescent kind.
The chances are there is one within a few feet of you right now. Go ahead, look around. That light bulb is not cool anymore. It's the VCR of light bulbs and it's quickly becoming obsolete - and for good reason.
It's being replaced by a new kind of bulb. It's called a Compact Fluorescent or CFL and it's an easy way for you to make a big difference. Here are two reasons why.
The real problem is coal - which is used to create over 50% of our electricity. When you turn on a light bulb, most of the electricity that powers that bulb comes directly from burning coal. When it's burned, CO2 and other pollution is released into the air. more burning coal = more pollution and global warming. Not cool at all.
If that wasn't enough, coal also costs money. The more you burn for electricity, the higher your power bill. So, the ultimate goal is to burn less coal by using less electricity. Here's why new light bulbs matter:
If you replace that old light bulb with a new CFL, you can save money and help prevent pollution at the same time. It almost sounds too good to be true, right? It's not - consider these three big points:
First: Let's say you have a lamp in your house that you leave on for one full year - 24/7. You start with a 750 hour incandescent bulb - that lasts about a month. This means that over a year, you'll use about 12 bulbs for the lamp. At 60 cents a bulb, that's $7.20.
Now compare that to a single CFL that costs about $3. A CFL in the exact same lamp will last 10,000 hours - that's about the same as 13 regular light bulbs. This should be clear - less hassle, and less money.
But, the last two points are the big ones.
Lighting accounts for, on average, about $20 of a $100 monthly power bill. And, CFL's use 1/4 of the power compared to an incandescent bulb. This means that using CFLs can lower a $100 power bill to $85 a month. Thats cool.
And finally: When a bulb uses less electricity, less coal is burned. That means switching to CFLs can prevent 100's of pounds of CO2 pollution in that same year. That pollution is a cause of global warming.
So you can see the point - CFLs are simply a smarter way to light your home. If you're still not convinced, note that these aren't buzzing blue tube lights from the kitchen of your past.
CFLs have come a long way lately - Popular Mechanics did a blinded study with new CFLs and participants preferred the CFL light compared to incandescent bulbs - and they fit in the same fixtures.
We should mention one thing. CFL bulbs contain a bit of mercury and should be recycled or disposed of properly.
The question to ask is - Why not switch to CFLs? The next time you're at the store, pick up a 4 pack of CFLs and replace the bulbs that are on the most - maybe the porch lights. Then ask your friends - are you still watching movies on a VCR?
This video introduces the benefits and risks of using compact fluorescent light bulbs. The video focuses on saving money and reducing pollution by switching to bulbs that use less electricity, including:
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