The Common Good
July 2005

Lights On!

by Mark Libby | July 2005

I appreciated Scot DeGraf'

I appreciated Scot DeGraf’s article ("Less is More"), as it is always good to get practical tips on being better stewards. I want to point out something minor regarding the use of compact florescent bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. It should be noted that even though they save a lot of electricity, florescent bulbs can end up having more environmental impact than you think.

Compact florescent bulbs advertise a long life, but this life assumes that the lamps stay on for at least three hours at a time. Turning fluorescent lights on and off frequently cuts into the life of the lamp. For rooms such as bathrooms and closets, these lamps will often burn out as fast or faster than standard incandescent bulbs. And because they use more material to create, they can create quite a bit of waste when thrown out—some inexpensive brands might even have hazardous materials in them.

Mike Libby
Moline, Illinois

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