Monday, July 9, 2007

3. Go Green

Incandescent light bulbImage via WikipediaThis might be the perfect time to start doing more for the environment. Even before the Live Earth concert, I have been exploring ways to cut down on energy use and increase recycling.

My first thought was to install solar power in my house, especially since the back of my house faces nearly due south... I did a lot of research and it turns out this is still pretty expensive.

So, I actually did start by looking for ways to save energy inside the house. I am in the process of doing a room by room energy "inventory" looking for ways to save. The most obvious and immediate ones are: 1) Turning off electrical appliances when they aren't in use (costs nothing to do!!), and 2) Replacing incandescent bulbs with Compact Florescent bulbs.

Now this (going to CFl bulbs) does cost a bit, but there are several benefits. First, you are using less energy ( a lot less, per bulb to get equal brightness ). Second, since you are using less energy, your electric bill will be less. Third, these bulbs are supposed to last a LOT longer than the ones they are replacing (some even come with a warranty -- remember to save those receipts!!). A down-side is that the color and spectrum of light you get may not be the same as what you were getting with incandescents. But the most major down-side is that all of the CFl's I've seen seem to be packaged in excessive plastics -- just like everything else these days.

I still need to figure out what I'm going to do with the Honda Pilot... although, on the positive side, where I used to commute an hour and a half each way, I now walk down to my basement and telecommute. A lot less stress, and a lot less pollution!