Sunday, August 10, 2008

I would convert to CFLs but I still have incandescent bulbs left...

According to Wikipedia the average household can save 30$ per bulb over the lifetime of a CFL by making the switch. Wikipedia also goes on to say that CFLs save 2000 times their weight in greenhouse gases.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the costs of swapping bulbs...

Cost

While the purchase price of an integrated CFL is typically 3 to 10 times greater than that of an equivalent incandescent lamp, the extended lifetime (fewer lamps to replace and reduced labor) and lower energy use will compensate for the higher initial cost in many applications.[21] A US article stated "A household that invested $90 in changing 30 fixtures to CFLs would save $440 to $1,500 over the five-year life of the bulbs, depending on your cost of electricity. Look at your utility bill and imagine a 12% discount to estimate the savings."[22]



I've been puzzling over how to make the change to 100% CFLs while I still have incandescent bulbs left. The frugalista in me won't stand for throwing anything away that cost money - but the greenista in me is struggling with the electricity bill and our carbon footprint.

Hence my brilliant idea!!
I've been collecting things for a charity (medical items, toiletries, household items etc) for awhile now and I think I have landed upon a perfect solution to my quandry.

I can give my bulbs away to the charity to be used at their offices or their clients homes. I know this seems bad, and it feels a little bit like cheating, but that way I can make my start at home asap w/o throwing perfectly good bulbs away. I can also help my favorite charity (who couldn't afford CFLs if they wanted to - heck I can barely afford them but it's the right thing to do).

So if you are reading this - tell me your thoughts - am I doing the right thing? Or is this just shifting my problem elsewhere? *sigh*

3 comments:

Susan M. Bell said...

Many people would appreciate the light bulbs as it is hard to switch when it comes to money and such. I haven't switched either as the last time I bought a fluorescent bulb for my one of my lamps, it sparked and smoked and such. If we hadn't been here to catch it, I think it would have burst into flames. Been shying away ever since.

An idea for your old bulbs..make ornaments out of them. You can paint them to make snowmen and Santas and such. I also saw someone make an oil lamp out of one. (http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/cr_lamps_shades/article/0,,DIY_13764_5264732,00.html) I'm not that crafty yet, but maybe one day.

Melinda said...

Every time I move to a new place I'm stuck with that quandary. And I have yet to figure out the perfect solution, but I think this is the best one I've heard so far!

Heather said...

Susan,
I have been staying away from the cheaper CFLs myself (just *in case*) hehe.
I'm the mom of a very young toddler so lightbulb ornaments are scary, but when he gets older if I have any left I will try it out. Thanks for the link :)

Melinda,
Amazing how weird ideas like giving the bulbs to charity come to me when I have insomnia hehe.