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Standard bulbs are rapidly being replaced by Compact Fluorescent (CF) bulbs. This is one of the easiest and cheapest way to ‘go green.’ While CF’s are much more expensive, their pay back is great and nearly instant. CF’s are ~$5 a bulb as compared to a pack of typical incandescent bulbs costing approximately the same. However the CF’s use 75% less energy over their lifetime- which is up to 10x longer than the life of a standard bulb. Over the course of a CF’s life, a single bulb can save upwards of $30 in energy costs. So as you can see, the higher up front cost more than pays for itself in costs. Also this is a long term investment, as the new CF’s will only need to be replaced every 5-10+ years (or much longer).
The only draw back (other than cost which we already established, pays for itself within a few electrical bills), is that the bulbs still contain hazardous chemicals. However, this is nothing new as standard bulbs have also always contained these chemicals. These chemicals are not of a major concern, they are in trace form and injuries from light bulbs are most commonly a result of a broken bulb (cuts) and not from inhalation or exposure to the internal chemicals. Basically the chemical hazard is negligible.
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