1. CHANGE ‘EM OUT

Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs). CFLs are a relatively new twist on the light bulb that has been gaining popularity for its energy efficiency and long life span. Originally, these bulbs were manufactured in a spiral shape, however CFL bulbs today come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

So here’s a little home improvement homework for you. Take a walk throughout your property and evaluate which of your lights are on the longest; it doesn’t matter if they are used during the day or at night, or whether or not they are inside the house or outside. Now choose five lights to replace with CFL lights; I chose to replace lights in the kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom vanity, and front porch. By doing this, you could cut up to 70% of your energy bill used on lighting; that’s because CFLs are 4x more efficient than incandescent lights.

If all American’s changed out five lights with CFL lights, the gross annual energy costs saved would be $6.5 billion! That’s a savings of approximately $60 per family per year! Energy Star has challenged all Americans to make the switch to at least one CFL bulb to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 450 lb. per bulb. Now that’s something that just might brighten your mood.

Unfortunately there is one drawback to using CFL lights. First of all, they contain small amounts of mercury in them, which is toxic to humans. Therefore, secondly, these kinds of bulbs must be disposed of properly in order to prevent harm to yourself or the environment. IKEA has a CFL recycling program, or you can visit www.earth911.org for more recycling options.

2. LIGHT EMITTING DIODES (LED)
LED stands for “light emitting diode.” These lights are more environmentally friendly than CFLs because they do not contain mercury in their casing. Although these make great lights, they are still fairly expensive and not as bright as commonly desired. Scientists are stilly trying to figure out how to make them work better. For now, they have gained popularity for use in flashlights and holiday lights. For more information visit www.homeledlighting.com (no affiliate)

3. SALT LAMPS
Salt lamps are quite unique. First of all, the salt crystals from the ocean bed had become trapped in remote areas of the world, inaccessible to man. For instance, some of the salt had been high in the mountains of the Indian Himalayas for thousands of years before human contact. Scientific studies demonstrate that salt lamps increase the negative ion count by up to 300%. Effects of the salt lamp are similar to those of ionizers, emitting negative ions that kill bacteria, purify the air, reduce radiation, increase well being and soothe the mind, body and soul. According to many people the ionization from salt lamps is reported to relieve fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, bronchial, cold, ADHD, burns, allergies, sinus, catarrhn, eczema and emphysema. You can find many different salt products at the following websites: www.thesaltoftheearth.com (no affiliate) and www.mysaltlamp.com (no affiliate).

4. CANDLESAlthough candles have been around for centuries, and have always been viewed as romantic or charming, they are not as healthy for your body as you might hope them to be. You see, candles are made from the inexpensive byproduct or waste from the petroleum industry.

When they are burned, they fill they the air with carcinogens (specifically benzene and toluene) that are capable of causing cancer. Candles are as dangerous as second hand smoke! If you like to travel, be careful, because candlewicks in China are traditionally made with lead – they burn toxic particles into the air you breathe.

So what’s the solution? Find all natural candles made from soy or beeswax.  To find beeswax candles, visit www.somethingwickedcandles.com.

For even more romantic lighting, try the body massage candle. Consider this for your candlelight dinner. By the end of the meal, the candle will have turned into a soft body massage cream. To find this body massage candle, simply go to www.jetaimefragrances.com

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