Now, I will confess. There was some deep seated arguing going on in my soul over what to title today’s blast into cyber space… I nearly went biblical with “Let there be Light”, but I do a rotten James Earl Jones. “Go into the Light” just seemed too morbid, and “Light it Up” is no doubt copywrited somewhere. So, for today, we’ll stay with Green Light Red Light.
One of the first problems the Prime Geek and I have struggled with in our foray into homeownership, is the idea of how we should light this sucker up. The romantic in me yearns to live in a hobbit hole deep in the country, lit with hand dipped beeswax candles – gathered from happy bees in low stress working environments, of course. But, sadly… I’m a 6’1 (ish, happy Chris?) Amazon living in the suburbs of a large city, and I am pretty sure they airbrushed the soot stains off those far too pristine ceilings anyway. Also, I’m married to a man who’s idea of a good time is getting his hands on a flashlight powerful enough, that when used by Sean Connery could blind and successfully bring down a helicopter full of white cat stroking drug runners! He lives for lumens, blinding white light thrills the very cockles of his geeky soul… so what is a Natural Nerd to do?
Like most of you, I’m a sucker for a good ad campaign. We’ve all heard the pitches for compact fluorescent light bulbs – CFL's for those of us who hate typing - they lower our carbon footprint. They lower our energy bills. They drastically cut back our reliance on fossil fuels. They promote clear skin and bigger breasts. Well, okay. The last two are a tad bit of a stretch, but if you spend any time at all searching the internet for information on these suckers, the ones touting them put them right up there with the wheel, penicillin, and drive thru late night windows at Wendy's on the heights of human achievement. Now, I’m writing this blog because I want to do better, I want to see what I can do to leave the world a tad bit cleaner than I found it, because frankly… when my future children are deciding which nursing home to put my wrinkled and aging backside in, I don’t want the fact they haven’t seen a living tree in their entire lives to weigh too darn heavily in their feelings for me! But all that aside, are these the way to go?
One of the big sites I’ve checked out - http://www.environmentaldefense.org/home.cfm has an engine that allows you to pop in the number of bulbs you hope to switch over to CFL’s and it will calculate, using your state’s average energy costs, just how much you will save you in the life of the bulbs. Now, after a few minutes wandering around the Natural Nerd’s nest, we come up with 42 bulbs. Which, beside being mildly satisfying for the Marvin side of my brain, is a heck of a lot of bulbs to switch out. These suckers cost anywhere from $3-$18 a bulb! Can the cost be worth it? Into the magic whosit my numbers go- 75 watt bulbs, 42 of them, all in Ohio, at 9.22 cents per kilowatt hour with a minimum lifespan of 6000 hours…. Lets see, carry the 7, divide the 3….. ummm…. I gotta kick a sandal off here….. according to the happy little gremlin living in the website I’ll save a whopping $1,306.94 and prevent 27,301 pounds of C02 from entering this plane of existence. Not bad numbers at all. I’m all for saving a tad bit over thirteen hundred bucks. But is this the real savings? Let’s find out more tomorrow. I sense a disturbance in the force…….