I want to have a quieter, but still Greenified Christmas this year. And I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do. It’s economical, environmentally sound and perhaps one of the more thoughtful gifts I’ve given in years.
I’m going to go to a big warehouse store and buy a couple of packs of energy saving light bulbs. And I’m going to take them to my parents’ house and replace every old-fashioned fluorescent light bulb in their house with an energy-saving, money-saving CFL bulb.
My parents are older, so they see better with a lot of lighting. CFL are often brighter than the older bulbs they replace. But my folks also don’t buy a lot of new things. I’ve told them that the new energy-efficient bulbs are cost effective, but it’s hard to convince them that it’s actually less wasteful to throw away (or even recycle) a perfectly good light bulb and replace it with a new one. Or to throw away a couple dozen perfectly good light bulbs.
Did you know that the average U.S. household has 45 light bulbs? Since you save about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb's lifetime, that means replacing that number of 75-watt incandescent bulbs with CFLs would save $180 per year.
And if every American home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.
My parents have about that many, so it won’t be a cost-effective gift for me. But when I think about all the money they will save, I believe it’s gift that will keep giving throughout the entire year. And I know it’s one I’ll feel great about giving, too.
It’s a great way to Greenify and give a truly thoughtful gift this season. I invite you to share the simple gift of light, from an energy efficient bulb, with someone you care about this season. Happy Holidays!