Thursday, May 22, 2008

"I'm Greener Than My Garden," or "CFLs"

Last night my mom and I were chatting about how popular it's become to bring your own bags to the grocery store. I have one of those bags, which I (almost) never remember to take with me to the store. I bought it at Maceys, kind of a while ago. I see the ones at Smith's all the time. My roommate stopped by Dressbarn, and they have their own reusable shopping bags. (Theirs fold up nicely, which is cool, except that going into that store with my roommate was the only time I've ever been. So I'm not really into the idea of carrying a dressbarn bag places. Even if it folds up nicely.) There's a girl in my ward who has one that says "Paper or plastic? Neither." And I covet hers a little bit. And then there are the stylin' ones, which I also adore. My mom has a bunch that she got from work.

Apparently, even though I see these bags everywhere, the bring-your-own-bags thing is even trendier in southern California. A bunch of major grocery stores will give you a 5 cent discount for each bag you bring. And five cents isn't huge, but it definitely adds up. And it's not such an unusual idea: in Italy, most stores charge you 5 centesimi for each bag you want. (The bags that you buy are better than the scripture-paper-thin bags most stores have here.)

Even though I think reusable bags are a great idea, I have absolutely found the new cool way to go green. It's all about compact fluorescent light bulbs. I really started thinking about using compact fluorescent bulbs when I read someone's blog post about how you could start saving money. It started with buying compact fluorescent bulbs, which cost next to nothing, and save you a whole lot of money. Then you take that whole lot of money to buy something else that saves you more money, and it was a whole chain. I can't remember where the original post was. But it got me thinking about buying these bulbs.

And then all of the light bulbs in my room burned out.

So it became a good idea to replace them with compact fluorescent bulbs this time around. I can remember my parents buying some back when they were new and a big deal, and they were really spendy. Now, that isn't the case at all. I can't remember where I read this either, but Walmart is big into promoting compact fluorescent light bulbs. Like, I don't know if they have a goal to sell some certain number, or what, but I had read that they had good prices on them.

So instead of shopping at good 'ole Maceys, yesterday, I went to Walmart. I was shocked, figuratively. They cost almost the same amount as regular incandescent bulbs! I decided to get a pack of 6 bulbs, 13 watts (which is a 60 watt equivalent). It cost me less than $10.

The box boasts: LASTS UP TO 9 YEARS!* (* if you use it like 3 hours a day) Save $47 in energy costs per bulb** (**based on the way that they tested it, comparing to the normal 60 watt ones).

Holy cow! I'm saving $47 in energy costs per bulb? I replaced three bulbs today, which will save me approximately $141 in energy costs. The three bulbs cost me less than $5. PLUS, I get to feel warm-fuzzies for knowing that I'm "lessen[ing] greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere."

I'm telling you what, after everyone saves Maceys $3 in plastic bags by bringing their own bags, this is going to be the new trendy thing. It's all about the CFLs.

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