I was reading the Calvin College alumni magazine over the weekend and read an interesting little piece about a man named Brian Huyser who launched a website called www.onebillionbulbs.com. This started as a result of something he learned: That if each family (in the USA, I assume) switched one incandescent bulb for a compact fluorescent lightbulb (CFL), it would save energy equivalent to taking 1 million cars off the road.
The article also noted that these compact fluorescent lightbulbs use up to 75% less energy than regular bulbs. One CFL can last up to ten years, save you as much as $89 in energy costs over the lifetime of a 100-watt bulb, and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air by as much as 156 pounds.
Now, I have to say that all is pretty convincing to me. In fact, I now have four or five CFLs in the house and one outside. To tell you the truth, in every other house we've been in, I didn't expect to live there long enough to make the higher cost fluorescents cost effective for us. Now, reading this info and assuming we're going to stay put for a while, it's kind of a no brainer.
But that apparently isn't good enough for our government. The United States of America has passed a law barring stores from selling incandescent light bulbs after 2012. Huh? There has to be a better way. For instance, rather than banning the old bulbs--in essence an unfunded mandate on the people of the country--why not air a bunch of public service announcements spelling out the benefits of CFLs and explaining how they have improved over the years? Look at how quickly I was convinced! Or instead of throwing money at ethanol fuel, which apparently actually consumes more energy to produce than it saves and takes valuable farmland out of the food chain, why not subsidize the purchase of fluorescent bulbs for a time? I don't think it would take long to win most folks over.
Visit www.onebillionbulbs.com to learn more about lighting options. There now are dimmable CFLs, 3-way CFLs and fluorescent floodlights.