Energy Conservation - am I green?

Thursday 22nd December, 2005
It's so busy at this time of year - so much to do in so little time - and, in the middle of it all, I have not one...not two...but 3 light bulbs blow in my house in just 2 days. I don't know about anybody else but light bulbs don't seem to last very long any more, up to 12 months in my estimation for moderate usage. When I say moderate usage, I basically mean that all my lights are on through the waking hours that I'm at home. Yes, I know this isn't very 'green' and I should turn lights off when I leave rooms but...nah.

So here I am changing the bulbs in all my top lights (the big light as Peter Kay would say) every year and usually in the dark. I keep spare bulbs in the cupboard, but these frequently run out with the amount I have to replace - yes I'm sure I need rewiring!

So there I was in Tesco staring at the shelves containing bulbs. Green energy conscious bulbs are still at premium prices but falling in cost all the time. A standard looking green bulb - they no longer need to be those ugly looking things - costs about £3 now, a lot more than a normal bulb, but these last for 8 years. Not only that, but a 60W equivalent (actually claimed to be 55W) only consumes 11W...an 80% saving.

Now I dunno how your maths is, but 80% is a lot. We're saying that instead of cutting down 5 trees to light my home, we cut down just one. Instead of using 5 litres of crude oil, we'll be using one, instead of maybe costing £50/yr on lighting my home, it will cost me...£10. How much was the bulb again...£3...bargain!

So, I replace them all with energy savers. The only negative is that they take a little while to 'warm up'. You start with a dim light that gets gradually brighter. I'm guessing this protects the high-output, low current filament. Either way it's not a problem, especially if you leave your lights on all night until you go to bed. I actually believe the output for the eco-friendly bulbs is a much cleaner, whiter look and I prefer it.

Now, should I be in UK or EU government and have eco-targets to achieve, it would just be plain and simple to me...bad normal bulbs. Green bulbs are not that expensive and instants cut energy usage by 80%. They will pay for themselves in no time, last longer cutting down on the disposal of old bulbs and just make the environment that bit nicer. So there we have it, I could be a tree-hugger yet.

So, I may not like eating my greens...but I'll be eating under them from now on.

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