How Green is Green?

In this world of concern and search for renewable energy, we find ourselves faced with answering the question of how big is our carbon footprint.  I know, that is one of those things that some of us are bound to say “Who cares!” or “Why should I care!”; and then there are some of us that will actually stop and listen and ponder what we can do on our part to decrease our own carbon footprint.  Really and truly, WE need this old planet a lot more than it needs us.  And, if decreasing our “footprint” even by the slightest amount will make that better, then I’m interested in finding out how and start taking the steps to make that happen.

I have read and have tried and my findings are that I have actually liked using various energy saving items.  For example, you know that your light bulbs are going to eventually burn out, so the next time you’re at the store, pick up an 8-pack of ESBs (Energy Saving Bulbs).  They are the scrolly looking, neon looking light bulb that uses a significant number of watts less than the older conventional incandescent bulbs and yet produces just as much light as the old ones (and for a longer period of time).  You might better know these little animals as a Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL).  The cool part about these is that they fit right in to an existing light fixture; so you don’t have to go to Lowe’s or Home Depot or your favorite lighting or hardware store and buy all new fixtures.  So, that is money saving issue #1.

Money saving issue #2 is that an ESB or CFL can save over $30 per lamp in electricity costs over the lamp’s lifetime compared to an incandescent lamp; and in the same breath, save 2000 times its own weight in greenhouse gasses.  The downside to this is that although the bulb uses less power and has a longer rated life, they generally have a higher purchase price with the bulbs costing as low as $2.31 each on the web.  But in the long run, you’ll save a significant amount.

And if you’re worried about the amount of light you’ll get by changing from a standard bulb to the ESB, stop worrying.  Compared to the general service incandescent lamps you’ll actually have the same amount of visible light as you did before.

So, try just this one thing.  Then as time goes on, try something else to decrease your carbon footprint.  You’re becoming green, and you’re saving green.  So in answering the question, “How Green is Green?”  Well, that you’ll have to figure out on your own.  But the basics are simple and no matter how green you become, it’s still more than it was yesterday.  A totally “Win! Win!” situation.

Categories: Remodeling