Here’s a green fact: a 26 Watt compact florescent light (CFL) is as bright as a 100 Watt incandescent bulb and only uses a quarter of the energy. To top that off—the CFL can last 7-10 years longer.
That’s money in the bank. Why wouldn’t you buy the CFL?
Some people are concerned about the mercury in florescent bulbs. It’s a legitimate concern; mercury is a toxin. However, the mercury is manageable. If you break a CFL, get out of house and let it air out for fifteen minutes. When the bulbs burn out, they need to be recycled—don’t throw them in the trash.
The folks at LighterFootsteps.com share five ways to recycle a CFL. They suggest Earth911.org as a place to lookup recycling centers in your area. However, I found more success by calling my county’s local waste and recycling center.
Finally, in case you need a celebrity endorsement to change your bulbs, here’s an interview with Bill Nye that Brian Bartel and I did for the National Science Teachers Association. (He talks about CFLs 16 minutes and 10 seconds into the show.)