Sustainable Suggestions

By Brittany McLeod
August 28, 2008

As the leaves turn brown, college students should be going green! With the green movement stirring across the country, students have a number of ways to make their dorm room into an environmentally-friendly one.

As students, money can be tight, so it might not seem easy to really do your part. Still, there are little things that can make your wallet and your ego feel good (along with the Earth, of course).

One of the simplest things anyone can do is install Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs). You may have heard about them, but what’s the big deal?

With CFLs, you can dramatically reduce your energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions – all with the flick of a switch.

According to the Pittsburg-Post Gazette, the comparisons between conventional light bulbs and CFLs is obvious: Halogen spot or flood lights – $5-$7 (2,000 hours). If lit continuously, that would be 83 days. Standard incandescents – 60 cents (900 hours or 37 days).

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) – $2.50-$3 (6,000 hours or 250 days). Reflector CFLs – $3 (6,000 hours). Even though CFLs cost a little more, you get six times the amount of use as standard incandescents! Along with that, you’re doing the environment a favor.

When looking for a CFL, be sure to check the wattage. Usually the equal amount of watts will be listed but don’t forget to verify the amount you need.

If you usually use 60-watt bulbs, divide that number by three and you’ll get your proper CFL wattage.

You can find CFLs at your local WalMart or ShopRite, right next to the old energy eating incandescents.

According to, only 10 percent of the energy used by an incandescent bulb produces light and the rest is given off as heat.

Even more notable, if every American replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star Compact Fluorescent Light bulb (CFL), the energy saved could light more than 2.5 million homes for a year!

With that kind of information, it’s hard not to buy a CFL every time you need a light bulb. Come on, you probably already have your laptop, printer, stereo, TV, fan, fridge and medusa lamp plugged in.

Why not save some energy in the most effortless way possible?

Brittany McLeod

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