I wanted to take just a minute to talk about climate change and just a few of the little things you can do to help reduce your carbon footprint. There are two tips in particular that I like, that are not only better for the environment, but also make your life a lot easier.
The first is pretty simple. Start replacing your standard incandescent light bulbs with the newer compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. These have significantly come down in price since the days when they were first introduced, and you can usually grab a four pack for about $6. Granted, it’s a wee more of an upfront cost than what you were paying for your traditional light bulbs, but think about how less frequent you’ll need to change those suckers? A typical light bulb lasts about 6 months or so, right? These incandescent bulbs last a lifetime of approximately 1500 hours. CFLs last for approximately 10,000 hours. That’s more than 6x longer! Meaning that instead of changing out a bulb every six months — you’ll do it once ever 3 years. This is especially important for those bulbs that are a pain in the ass to change. You know which ones, I’m talking about — the ones that you have to get the ladder out and bring a screwdriver to remove the light fixture. Swap those first! Save yourself the hassle.
So, that extra few dollars isn’t really going to waste. Not to mention the fact that these bulbs are more energy efficient and will significantly reduce your overall energy bill if you replace all of them. So, what’s not to love about them? The only downside, and it’s a minor inconvenience, is that you need to recycle these — they cannot be thrown away in the trash. Just save them up for when you need to run to the hardware store and bring ’em with you. Problem solved.
The second thing, which I always thought was so granola, is bring your own bags to the grocery stores. Here in California, nearly every grocery store sells these now for usually $0.99 and most of the time the store will credit you $0.05 for each time you bring in your own bags. So these will pay for themselves in less than 6 months, if you shop weekly.
What’s even nicer, though, is that these bags make it so much easier to carry groceries. You can fit so much more stuff into one fabric/hemp grocery bag than you can in one plastic or paper bag. Plus — they don’t break! Yesterday, coming back from my mini shopping run, they threw a gallon of apple juice into one bag plus rice, a few jars of baby food and some other goodies. With traditional grocery bags, the apple juice would’ve been not just one — but often two bags itself, to double bag it. I was really surprised at how much more efficient these bags are when shopping. So just throw them in your car and bring them with you when you go into the store. That’s the only hard part. But it’s worth it!
So, that’s just some of the small things you can do around the house to make an impact on the world around you. For more tips, check out this post from the Practical Environmentalist.
This message was brought to you as part of Blog Action Day.