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ntroducing the Sustainable Shepherdstown Good Habits Challenge:

By Staff | Jan 18, 2013

With the new year comes resolutions. There are the usual: de-clutter, exercise, eat healthy, etc. Sustainable Shepherdstown is adding a twist. Each month the group will publish a sustainable goal and ask the community to take the Sustainable Shepherdstown good habits challenge. This goal will not only help individuals and their well-being, but it will also be a step in the direction of a more sustainable and resilient community. And if the good habit turns out to be easy to get used to it, hopefully it will become a regular habit year round, for life!

January’s Challenge: Turn off lights when leaving the room.

This easy step will save a lot of energy. And energy saved means not only more money in the pocket, but also less unsustainable and dirty energy consumed. Lighting counts for approximately 20-50 percent of home and/or office energy consumption. By simply turning out the light when leaving the room, that percentage could drop drastically.

One thing to consider is the lifespan of the light bulb. It can be lowered when turning lights on and off depending on the type of light bulb in use. Both incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs lose some of their lifespan when being turned on and off. But the cost of energy (high) along with the cost of the bulb (low) for the incandescent bulb outweighs any savings of lifespan when turning off that light. So it’s best to turn off the incandescent bulb when leaving the room for any period of time. The fluorescent bulb also loses lifespan when being turned on and off over short periods of time. The best bet for fluorescents is to turn them off if leaving the room for more than 5-10 minutes. When returning to the room within that time frame, it’s best to leave the light on.

The below chart is reason to upgrade your light bulbs when one burns out.

Cost Comparison

Incandescent Fluorescent LED

Purchase price $1$2 $20

Electricity usage 60w 13w 10w

Average life of bulb1,000 hrs10,000 hrs30,000 hrs

Bulb cost over 10 years $21 $6$30

Energy cost over 10 years $115 $25 $19

Total $136 $31 $49

Comparison based on 6 hours use per day

Fluorescents have really come down in price. LEDs are coming down, watch for sales. LEDs are also less fragile and contain no hazardous materials.

Recycle all light bulbs except tube fluorescents at Home Depot or Lowes.

Please post reminders around the house or do whatever works to help remember to turn out the lights.

Cheers to forming new good habits in the New Year! Happy 2013!

For those who would like to join Sustainable Shepherdstown’s mailing list, please subscribe here:

eepurl.com/o7YNz or go to sustainableshepherdstown.org/ and use the sign-up form on the right side.