On the seventh day of Christmas my green friend gave to me…7 CFLs, 6 fair-trade chocolates, 5 solar lights, 4 faucet aerators, 3 large rain-barrels, 2 new thermostats and a live…Christmas tree!
In case you just started reading my Twelve Days of a Green Christmas and are wondering why, on New Year’s Eve, I am writing about Christmas and the twelve days of it, you should read my First Day of a Green Christmas to understand.
On a grand scale ENERGYSTAR (a program developed by US DOE and US EPA) tells us “if every American home replaced just one light bulb with a light bulb that’s earned the ENERGY STAR, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars”. OK, that’s great I will be helping to save the planet, but what are the 7 CFLs that I got today going to do for me and saving me money?
Compact Fluorescent Lights, commonly called CFLs, are a way to save a lot on your electric bill, especially if there are members of your household who don’t remember to turn off lights when they leave a room. These bulbs cost around $4 each and for every one CFL lightbulb you can save about $40 or more during the lifetime of the bulb. So with the 7 CFLs I got today I will save about $280 or more during the life of these bulbs. If I had to buy them myself instead of receiving them as a gift, I would have invested less than $30, a good return on my investment.
In addition to the lifetime savings using CFLs , these bulbs last about 10 times longer than incandescents and are cool to the touch. I know many of you are thinking CFLs are passe’ now and LEDs (Light Emitting Diode lights) are the smarter way to save money. That could be true if the cost of LEDs was lower. Yes, LEDs are 10 times more energy-efficient than CFLs but when you look at a comparison chart, like the one from EarthEasy.com, even though you might replace the CFL bulb 5 times during the lifetime of one LED bulb, the total energy cost for 50kw and the cost of the light bulb(s) provides an additional cost savings of about $4. Choosing the right CFL is also important. Click here to access the EWG (Environmental Working Group) guide to buying CFLs.
With the rapid advancements of LEDS the initial cost of LEDS is coming down every year and perhaps next year my Green Friend will be giving me LEDs instead of CFLs!
So, as we celebrate the seventh day of Christmas and the end of 2012, I’d like to end my year of posts with with this wish…Happy New Year…may 2013 be filled with good health, happiness and greener choices throughout the year!