30 Green Days / Conserve Energy Using Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

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I’m excited to announce that I’m partnering up with SC Johnson in the 30 Green Days Challenge. During this challenge, my family and I will be making a conscious effort to live a more sustainable lifestyle and I’ll also be sharing some green living tips here, on the blog. I hope to inspire and encourage you to join in the effort!

This week’s theme is all about conserving energy. There are many ways to conserve energy in your home like limiting the use of electronics and shutting down and unplugging small appliances and electronics when not in use (using a power strip makes that super easy). Those are simple things that you can do on-the-cheap to conserve energy and save money.

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Additionally, I recommend switching to CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs. Over the course of a few years, we’ve replaced all of our old incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs. We’ve made the initial investment purchasing the bulbs and we are happy knowing that we are conserving energy and saving on our energy bill. And since we use daylight CFL bulbs, the lighting in our home is very pleasant, ideal for photography. The photo below was taken in Jayden’s room at night.

According to ENERGY STAR, Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs last up to 7 years and use 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs. To put that into perspective, a 20-watt CFL bulb will output the same amount of light as a 75-watt incandescent bulb. If every home in America switched to CFL bulbs, enough energy would be saved in one year to light more than 3 million homes. In a single year, the use of CFLs over incandescent bulbs would remove as much greenhouse gas pollution as taking 2 million cars off the road. Holy moly, that’s kind of a BIG deal!

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How to dispose of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

While highly beneficial to the environment, CFL bulbs are considered hazardous and must be disposed of properly. CFL bulbs do contain tiny amounts of mercury. To find bulb-recycling programs in your area, call your local waste management authority. You can also visit earth911.org to search a database of 100,000 recycling and hazardous waste collection locations for more than 170 different materials. In addition, many retailers offer in-store consumer CFL bulb-recycling programs.

How to dispose of broken Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Broken CFL bulbs must be handled with additional care. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises the following:

1. First, turn off your central heating or cooling system so fumes aren’t moved from one room to another. Then open up the windows and let the room ventilate for 15 minutes.

2. Next, it’s time to clean up the broken bulb. Put on gloves to make sure you don’t touch any of the mercury powder. Use a piece of cardboard to scoop up large pieces of glass. Switch to sticky tape to pick up small fragments and shards. Don’t use your vacuum cleaner, and make sure all broken pieces, tape and cardboard are placed in a plastic bag.

3. Finally, wipe the area with a damp paper towel and place the used towel in the plastic bag, as well.

4. Seal the bag and immediately throw it away.

I hope these tips have inspired you to make green choices by conserving energy. Stay tuned as I will be sharing additional tips to help your energy conservation efforts.


While SC Johnson is the sponsor of the 30 Green Days Challenge, all opinions and comments within this post are my own.

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Sheena Tatum

is the founder of Sophistishe. She's a free spirit, wife, boy mom, rental rebel, curator of pretty things, lover of vintage pyrex, and the tropics. Sheena can be found in NW Indiana with her husband and two scrumptious boys, clutching kraft paper, chalkboard paint, sriracha and chipotle pepper. In the midst of motherhood, wifedom, and managing a growing collection of digital projects, she somehow manages to find zen in being a quirky, introverted, lil’ lady.

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