Living Green

by John Beggiato published Mar 15, 2014 10:35 PM, last modified Mar 16, 2014 08:00 PM
There are many options to live a more sustainable life. In this series of articles, I will explore some simple do-it-yourself solutions to living more sustainably and saving money.
Living Green

Example of an LED light bulb

When people think of doing something "green", they usually think they have to install solar panels on the roof of their house. While this may be great for the environment, it's costly and they won't see a return on their investment for many years, if they do at all. There are many other options to live a more sustainable life. Some will benefit both the environment and your savings account. In this series of articles, we will explore some simple do-it-yourself solutions to living more sustainably and saving money. Let's begin with lighting.

 

Lighting is estimated to be about 12-13% of your electric energy bill, right behind heating, cooling, and your water heater. For years, the most popular form of lighting was the incandescent light bulb, which provided light as well as unwanted heat. But today, we have a wider selection in bulbs.


LivingGreenenergy_pie_graph.png
Estimated Residential Energy Use
Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) bulbs cost 6 times more than an incandescent bulb, but use only 10% of the electricity, last 7 times longer and produce less heat. At $2.50 each for a 13 Watt CFL (that's equivalent to 60 Watt incandescent), you'll recover your investment in about a year.

 

Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs cost 38 times more than an incandescent bulb, but they use only 1% of the electricity, last 20 times longer and produces little heat. At $14.50 each for a 12 Watt (60 Watt equivalent), you'll recover your investment in about 3 years.


When investing in a CFL or LED bulb, stick to the name brands like Sylvania, Philips and GE. These will last the longest and provide the best performance for your money. Any other brand may be cheaper, but they will only last about a year.

 

In our next article, we'll explore the simple solution to save money when heating your home.

BoroGreen is a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization and consists of a loosely knit community of residents, businesses, congregations and like-minded groups, all contributing to a more sustainable community in and around Hillsborough, NJ.