Reduce Your Homes Carbon Footprint?

 

With so much back and forth about what to do to go “green” one can get very confused on how to take that initial step to lowering their carbon footprint. The key is to start small with the little things around your home, no matter what it is you do, just do something! No matter how small it may seem.


#1: Change your bulbs: by trading your incandescent to bulbs for compact florescent (CFL) prevents the emission of over 400 pounds of greenhouse gasses a year! Unlike the older version of the CFL that may flicker and hum, the newest version of the CFLs do not flicker and the output has a much better color quality than those of old. If you’re stumped as to which bulb type choose, try going for those that are labeled “warm”, “soft white” or “residential color”.

#2: Go Outdoors: Make sure that your outdoor space lighting is energy efficient. When considering outdoor lighting you should choose options that require a CFLs or LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) that feature a photocell or what’s commonly referred to as "motion sensored". Click here to view our list of Outdoor Lighting options

#3: Install a water filter: It may be hard to do but ditching those beloved disposible water bottles for the BPA free reusable plastic bottles not only saves a lot of money, but our landfills will be less populated by the millions and millions of trashed recycled plastic water bottles

Fun Fact! Most reusable water bottles feature a filter so you can carry the bottle anywhere and not worry about unclean water

#4 Do not run your AC when no one is home: We know it my be rough for 10 minutes, but setting your AC on a timer so it doesn’t run when no one is at home is helps the enviroment and not to mention your pocket books

#5: Buy Energy Star rated bulbs and fixtures: This means that all the lighting will be certified by the U.S. Department of Energy as energy efficient. Most lighting companies will feature an “energy efficient” line of products. Click Here to view 1STOPLighting's collection of Energy star rated lighting!

We all can do our parts to ensure that we keep the place we call home clean for our grandchildren's children to come!

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Compact fluorescent lights hit a wall Industry shines on hopes for future LEDs

 Great report by Steve Gelsi of Marketwarch.

Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/compact-fluorescent-bulbs-hit-a-wall-leds-beckon?dist=msr_1

 By Steve Gelsi, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- With sales of pricy compact fluorescent bulbs slowed to a stop by the recession, the lighting industry is sharpening its focus on light emitting diodes in the hope this next-generation technology can rev up sales.

While the cost of a compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb has fallen as low as $2.50 each in multi-packs, old fashioned light bulbs sell for 40 cents apiece, helping the older incandescent technology maintain its glow.

Major bulb makers GE /quotes/comstock/13*!ge/quotes/nls/ge (GE 12.94, -0.74, -5.41%) , Siemens AG /quotes/comstock/13*!si/quotes/nls/si (SI 66.61, -3.91, -5.55%) and Philips gathering at the Lightfair International show this week in New York City looked toward the next generation of light emitting diodes (LEDs) as the next big thing in modern illumination.

While CFL sales now comprise a big chunk of the industry -- 20% or more at some companies -- the business has edged lower over the past 12 months.

Lighting Industry Pioneering a Better, Energy-Saving Bulb

MarketWatch's Steve Gelsi reports from the 2009 Lightfair International conference, where offering more illumination for less power and less money is now the name of the game. He discusses compact florescent lamps, or CFLs, with actor and activist Ed Begley Jr. and light emitting diodes, or LEDs, with Ostram Sylvania CEO Charles Jerabek.

"It's a problem all of industry has right now because times are pretty tough and the economy isn't growing," said Charles Jerabek, CEO of Osram Sylvania, a unit of Siemens. "It just puts a further challenge on us."

Light makers are showing off a growing stable of LED lights. With New York City and other major urban areas already using LEDs in traffic lights, the industry hopes to add to its success with street lights.

LEDs last much longer than CFLs and contain no mercury, a setback faced by compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Actor Ed Begley Jr., a speaker at Lightfair International and a well-known green power advocate in the entertainment industry, argued that CFLs help cut harmful emissions from coal-fired electricity plants by saving power, even though they contain some toxic materials.

"You're better to buy the (CFL) bulb even with that miniscule amount of mercury -- about the same as in a couple of cans of tuna -- and then recycle it at Ikea or Home Depot," Begley said. "If you don't buy the bulb you're putting more mercury into the air where you can't reclaim it."

Begley also championed the use of longer-lasting LED lighting now being deployed in the motion picture and TV industries as a way for studios to cut down on electricity bills and the expensive labor costs of changing bulbs.

Sylvania just introduced its first direct LED competitor to the 40-watt light bulb. The LED bulb uses 8 watts of power to produce about the same amount of light as a 40-watt bulb. The LED bulb's expected life of 25,000 hours amounts to eight times the life of a conventional light bulb. However, at a current cost of $50 each, the new bulb isn't quite ready for prime time.

Industry mavens hope to bring the cost down over time as they move past the less efficient incandescent bulb, which inadvertently turns most of the energy powering it into heat instead of light.

For this reason and others, Congress in 2007 approved a phase-out of incandescent bulbs starting with the 40-watt bulb in 2012.

Begley, who owns an electric car that he uses solar cells to recharge, said LED light bulbs could eventually take their place as the next big thing to save energy cheaply.

"I was a broke, struggling actor in 1970 -- I did the cheap and easy stuff that was available" to be green, he said. "There's many more choices today. CFLs are affordable to anyone today. You'll save money right away with energy-saving thermostats, weather stripping around your doors and windows."

Meanwhile, the trade group NEMA is expected to release its first-quarter survey of CFL sales next week. In the fourth quarter of 2008, the incandescent share of household lamp sales increased slightly to 77.5%, as consumers eschewed costlier CFLs.

Steve Gelsi is a reporter for MarketWatch in New York.

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Recycle CFL Bulbs- Helpful websites to guide you

Energy users forget where to dispose of compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) after they've reached their lifetime limits. Because they last so long, it's often easy to think you can just toss them in the trash bin. CFLs contain a small amount of mercury. Enough, when improperly disposed of, can leach into soil and water. Each of us has to find a proper recycling service within our own municipalities. Here are four websites that will help you navigate this issue:

 (1) Earth911: Helps you find recycling centers. Just input what type of materials you want to recycle and your location. Simple and to the point.

 (2) Sylvania: Provides affordable recycle kits for CFLs.

 (3) Lightbulbrecycling.com: You can order recycling kits for a bulk amount of bulbs. This service might not work for the average energy user.

 (4) EPA: For more information and links, go to the EPA site.

In addition to these websites, IKEA has a permanent in-store zone for CFL recycling and Walmart has implimented one of its own (depending on its success, it may become a permanent zone).

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