The Compact Flourescent Lightbulb (CFL)—you know, the swirly-doodley one—is perhaps the greatest invention since . . . well . . . the original light bulb. An eco win-win, CFLs not only consume up to 75% less energy than their incandescent siblings, but also last 10 times longer, while saving hundreds—yes hundreds—on your electricity bill.
FACT: You'll save $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb's lifetime. Replace 45 incandescent bulbs (the average per U.S. household) and you'll save $180 per year (source energystar.gov).
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if just one million households replaced four traditional bulbs with four CFLs we'd eliminate 900,000 tons of greenhouse gases. If every American household changed just one light bulb to a CFL, we would save enough power to light more than 2.5 million homes. That's doing far more than taking 3.5 million cars off the road . . . permanently!
To boot, CFLs are beautiful (they look like ice-cream). They fit into three-way bulbs, emit a pleasant, "soft white" glow and are dimmable . . . bam-chica-wa-wa.
Olivia Zaleski is a green living expert.