Will Somebody Please Get the Lights?!

Welcome back to the second month of ‘Baby Steps to a Greener World ‘! I hope that you enjoyed undertaking the Eco-Stocktake last monthly and hopefully gained a better understanding of your ecological footprint.

This month we will be undertaking the first of our baby steps to reduce our impact on the environment, starting with… lightbulbs!!

‘Since the lighting sector is on the edge of a spectacular revolution based on new technologies, perhaps the quickest, most profitable way to reduce electricity use worldwide is simply to change light bulbs.’

Lester Brown, Plan B4.0: Mobilising to Save Civilisation

Did you know that lighting your home accounts for approximately 12% of your electricity bill? With electricity prices locked in an upward climb, now is the perfect opportunity to investigate options for savings for you and the environment!

The Australian Government undertook a phase out program to increase the energy efficiency of light bulbs in Australian homes as of 2010, so it is highly likely that you have already made the shift without even realising it!

However, if you still happen to have some incandescent bulbs lurking in your home, here are the top reasons why you should consider changing to CFL or LED technologies.

• CFLs use approximately 75% less electricity than old fashioned incandescent bulbs.
• CFLs will reduce your energy bills (by roughly $30 US over the lifetime of each bulb installed)
• CFLs will last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
• LEDs are even more efficient and will last up to 50 times longer than the old incandescent bulbs

If you’ve already made the shift to more efficient lighting technologies in your home and are now looking for other ways to reduce your lighting costs, you could try some of the following;

• Turn lights off if you are not in the room (sounds totally ‘duh’ worthy, but it is amazing how many of us forget to do it!)
• Install sensors or dimmers if you struggle to remember to turn your lights off.
• Opt for natural lighting where possible; open up the curtains or install a skylight and invite natural lighting into your home
• Light paint colours will help to reflect existing light, reducing the amount of artificial light that is needed. As a bonus, lighter paints tend to make rooms appear more spacious and open!
• Participate in Earth Hour as a family and use it as an opportunity to build awareness of just how often you turn on lights unnecessarily
• Encourage your workplace to participate in Earth Hour.
• Talk to your kids about their lighting use – are there areas that the whole family can improve on?

Have fun turning out the lights around your home this month. Next month we’ll be looking at easy and fun ways to drive less, so make sure you check back here for some great ideas!

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