Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Energy Efficiency for the Holidays and Beyond…

During the holidays, our energy consumption usually increases significantly as we add lighting to our homes, offices, and businesses. Thankfully, there are ways to be energy efficient and protect the environment during the busy holiday season (as well as during the rest of the year).

For inside or outside holiday lighting, you can buy Light Emitting Diode (LED) just about anywhere. They are energy efficient, more cost effective, reduce fire risk, and are long lasting. According to PG&E, LED lights reduce energy consumption by as much as 90% compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. Over time, this can save consumers a substantial amount of money. In addition, you’re making a conscious choice for the environment and collectively to the planet.

By now, most people know they can save energy and money by replacing their Compact Florescent Lights (CFLs) and incandescent bulbs with LEDs. CFLs are a temporary solution to energy efficient lighting. Where can you get rid of CFLs and incandescent lights? You don’t have to throw them away, which is harmful to the environment. CFLs contain a small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing and should be disposed of properly to avoid contaminating the environment.

To recycle CFLs and incandescent bulbs, you can mail your lights to a recycling program such as this one:

Attn: Recycling Program
118 Rosehill Dr., Suite 1
Jackson, MI 49202

You can also take them into a local Home Depot, which is the first major retailer to offer free collecting/recycling program for CFLs. To learn more about Home Depot’s Eco Options, please visit this site.

[Incidentally, if you should have a CFL break in your work or home, here is a handy two-page document, courtesy of the EPA, that will help you know what to do.]

Contact your local city, county, or solid waste agency to find more options about recycling. You can also visit or Where You Live at

“Change a light, Change the world.” Energy Star

- Tess Conrad • Meeting Planner