Compact Fluorescent Lights

Change two household bulbs to compact fluorescent lights (which can be recycled at Whole Foods, Home Depot, and some True Value stores); CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy and last ten times longer.

CFLs, as they are referred to, last up to ten times longer than regular light bulbs and use up to 75 percent less energy. Therefore, over the CFL’s lifetime you can save $30 to $40. Making your household lighting more energy efficient is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. According to the US Department of Energy, the average household spends 11 percent of its energy budget on lighting; using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50 to 75 percent.

IMAGINE: If everyone switched just one bulb in his or her home to compact fluorescent, the U.S. would save $600 million in energy costs and would reduce greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of 800,000 cars (US Environmental Protection Agency).

RECYCLING: It is very important to recycle CFLs properly because of the small amount of mercury they contain. Don’t just throw them away in your trash and don’t put them in your household recycling bin. Recycle burned-out CFLs at Whole Foods stores (which supply you with a bag for them), Home Depot (take them to the Returns counter), and some True Value hardware stores (especially in downtown Boston and Cambridge).