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Light Bulb Exchange Results in BIG Savings!

By John Pumilio on March 10, 2010

Over the past few years there has been a big nationwide push to replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with the curly-looking compact fluorescents (CFLs). Is changing light bulbs really worth it? Absolutely! CFL’s are 75 percent more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and can last 10 times longer. This can result in big energy and cost savings.

Last year, at Colgate, we began replacing 1,400 incandescent bulbs with 20-watt CFLs. Considering the upfront cost of purchasing the CFLs coupled with the energy savings over time, we determined that Colgate will save over $36,000 over the life of the project. Moreover, removing incandescent bulbs will reduce our campus carbon footprint by 101,400 lbs. Any project that can save the university money and reduce our carbon footprint is a good project.

Do you still have an incandescent bulb in your home or office? Then switch it now!
Saving energy and reducing our carbon footprint begins the moment you replace a CFL with an incandescent. This outweighs the energy and emissions associated with keeping an incandescent in place until it burns out.

Where can I get a CFL?
You have a few choices. Call B&G; and have your incandescent replaced. CFLs can also be found in any store that sells incandescent bulbs. Finally, both OfficeMax and Staples have CFLs in stock – so order them with your next purchase.

How do I dispose of my spent CFL?
Do not break or throw it in the trash. CFLs contain a tiny amount of mercury (the size of a tip of a ball point pen) and must be disposed of properly. Wrap your spent bulb in newspaper and give to your custodian. It is important to note that a new CFL can last up to 10 years, so you may need to wait awhile!

What if my CFL breaks?

  • Sweep the pieces together with a damp paper towel
  • Place the towel (with glass pieces) in a sealed plastic bag
  • Contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office for pick-up (SB4 McGregory, 315.228.7994)

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