Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Michael Caduto: Don’t Be an Energy Hog, Replace Your Bulbs!

Replace incandescent bulbs and reduce greenhouse gases.
Incandescent lightbulbs may be small and
familiar, but they are big energy hogs!

Did you know that if you unscrew one incandescent lightbulb and replace it with an energy-efficient bulb, you are taking a small but important step toward reducing the destructive greenhouse effect that is driving global warming? When we lower our use of electricity, we cut down on the release of greenhouse gases from the power plants that create electricity. The electricity saved by changing a single old-fashioned bulb to an energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) will, during the life of that bulb, reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that would have been created to make that electricity by 1,000 pounds (454 kg). And LED (“light-emitting diode”) lightbulbs are even more energy efficient than CFLs — using 85 percent less electricity than incandescents.

These energy savings quickly add up. For every 45 incandescent lightbulbs that are replaced with energy-efficient bulbs, more than enough energy is saved to supply all the lighting for an entire household!

Keep it clean: CFL lightbulbs are now the cheapest and most commonly used energy-efficient lightbulbs, but each bulb contains a small amount of toxic mercury. These bulbs must be handled with care and cleaned up properly if broken, and they cannot be thrown away when they blow out. Ask at your local hardware store about how to properly recycle used CFLs. Visit the following page on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website for details: http://www.epa.gov/cfl/.

Excerpted with permission from Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun: 22 Super-Charged Science Projects for Kids ©2011 by Michael J. Caduto. Illustration by © Clayton Hanmer. Photographs by © Greg Nesbit Photography. All rights reserved.

Author Michael J. Caduto is the creator and coauthor of the international best-selling Keepers of the Earth series and Native American Gardening. He also wrote Earth Tales from Around the World, Pond and Brook, Riparia’s River, and many other books on the power of nature. His awards include the Aesop Prize, the NAPPA Gold Award, the Storytelling World Award, and the American Library Association’s “Best Book for Young Adults.” Michael lives in Vermont. Visit him at www.p-e-a-c-e.net.

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