Change the world Wednesday, week 10

lightIf you’ve not joined in already, please visit the Reduce Footprints site to see how you can join in and change the world on a Wednesday!

Last week we had to reduce our food waste. This week we’re looking at our carbon footprint and reducing the amount of lighting we use to save energy.

As Smaller Footprints points out, in some areas of our homes we might use multiple light bulbs to light a single area, such as bathroom with rows of vanity lighting or a cluster of spot lights in a kitchen.

When we moved in here we had three halogen spotlights in the kitchen, bathroom and shower room. The bulbs would blow every few weeks or so and they would cost us a fortune not only in replacement bulbs but in carbon emissions no doubt. But back then I had little interest in reducing my carbon footprint; I just wanted brightly lit rooms.

Smaller footprints suggests we twist off all but one bulb in each area and see how much we can reduce our lighting by.  If you’ve been following Little Green Blog recently, you’ll know all about our latest LED lighting projects. We now have the majority of the downstairs lighting running from solar powered LEDs thanks to Mr Green’s creativity and hard work.

I’ve never been happy with CFL lighting as I’m concerned about the levels of mercury in them. Sure it’s a small amount, but collectively I feel this could be a problem in the future. What about in ten years time when the CFLs run out and they need to be disposed of? We are supposed to put them into WEEE for recycling, but how many will actually end up in landfill leaching mercury into the air, earth and water?

Are there areas in your home where you could reduce the amount of lightbulbs you use? If you’re already using the minimum amount of bulbs, what other ways do you reduce your energy use this week?


  1. sonomabuzz on November 14, 2009 at 1:55 am

    I believe that you can call your local waste management company and ask them how they deal with florescent bulbs in general , it’s different everywhere you go . Also If they dont have a collection plan you can alwaws ask them “why Not”.



  2. Mrs Green on November 15, 2009 at 7:09 am

    @sonomabuzz: Hi Mike, You make a great point. We can all contact our local waste management companies, but there will be many people who simply toss the bulbs instead of bothering to call …