The city of Pasadena has really impressed me lately. A few weeks ago, I received a little box in the mail from Pasadena Water & Power (PWP). The box contained a couple of spiral-style, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) by Earthmate. As part of their energy-saving campaign, Pasadena is not only making greater green efforts, they’re offering easy and free alternatives to help residents transition. Here, this latest environmental endeavor, in mailing 53,000 of these energy-saving kits, including CFLS and a $75 vouchers, will:
“… challenge all Pasadenans to help the city cut 10,000 tons of annual carbon emissions by replacing 10 regular bulbs with 10 energy-saving bulbs and telling 10 friends to do the same. Your family can pledge to make the switch at www.cityofpasadena.net/CFL”
Earthmate CFLs are packaged with post-consumer waste materials, but what I liked was that there was even a sweet little bird design on the box. Anyway, immediately after receiving the bulbs, I replaced the lightbulb on my nightstand. Seemingly insignificant, but I felt like I was helping the effort. CFLs use 75 percent less energy than regular bulbs and last ten times longer. Energy creation is a leading cause of greenhouse gases, by using CFLs, individuals can trim down on carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse glasses” being released into our air. For an extra two bucks, you can pick up a CFL at most stores from Home Depot, CVS, Ralph’s to Whole Foods, where regular bulbs are sold. Here are some common places where you can use CFLs:
- Table and floor lamps
- Recessed and overhead lights in the kitchen
- Ceiling fan lights
- Bathroom overhead and vanity lights
- Outdoor flood lights and patio fixtures
One thing you should be aware of though, is that CFLs contain a minute amount of mercury in the glass tubing–three to five milligrams, about the same amount that’d cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. Fortunatley, mercury is never released in your home when CFLs are in use. Therefore, be sure to recycle your dead CFLs as electronic or hazardous waste. Happily, the PWP’s little package even included a list of recycling collection locations and handy pouches, which you can use when they’re ready to toss out. If you’re not a Pasadenan resident or didn’t find one of these neat packages in the mail, don’t fret. You can also look up recycling collection centers, order the eco bulbs and even receive a free 3-pack of CFLs on their website. They also include tips on what to do and how to avoid mercury contamination if your CFL breaks.
Flip the green switch!
Flip the green switch!