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Not so long ago, Americans lit their homes with candles. Thanks to modern technology, you can be almost as environmentally friendly without burning down the house.

Simran says replacing regular, inefficient lightbulbs with compact florescent lighbulbs (CFLs) can make a big difference. "Most of the energy in the United States comes from coal-fired plants," she says. "What we're doing when we run inefficient products is we're burning a lot more coal, and we're putting a lot more carbon into the environment."

A CFL is 70 to 75 percent more efficient than other bulbs, she says. Florescent bulbs will cost a little more up front, but Simran says you should save money on your electricity bill over time. Plus, these bulbs can last 8 to 10 years!

If every family replaced one bulb with a CFL, Simran says it would be like reducing carbon emissions from 800,000 cars. "I'm asking [America] to have a lightbulb moment and change out one lightbulb!" she says.

Don't worry…these florescent lights aren't like the ones used in high school cafeterias. Simran says the new, improved bulbs, which cost about $6, give off beautiful light and can be adapted to dimmers. "They've really evolved as a product," she says.
FROM: Going Green 101: What Your Family Can Do Today!
Published on January 01, 2006


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