Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Baby-stepping toward going green - lighting

Special thanks to NC Green Travel for this information.

We've heard it said so many times:  "It costs too much to go green." In truth, going green is not an all-or-nothing proposition and can be accomplished gradually with great results. Lodging, dining and other tourism-oriented businesses can ease into the green arena a little bit at a time. For instance, lightbulbs need to be replaced occasionally, so why not replace them with LED bulbs as they burn out? The price for LED bulbs has become more affordable, so it is always better to replace burned out, standard lighting with these energy-efficient bulbs. You can purchase LED bulbs with light output equivalent to that of a 60-watt standard bulb, however the energy consumption is only 8 watts and the bulbs last 30,000 hours or more. That's about 30 times longer than with standard lighting, which amounts to considerable savings in energy and replacement costs. 

A hidden cost that may not be considered by some businesses is the labor cost for replacing lightbulbs. One NC GreenTravel recognized member, Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, did a time study about bulb replacement as they converted to energy-efficient lighting. The Inn discovered that in changing 200 lightbulbs monthly, it took 20 minutes to replace each bulb. That is 4,000 minutes in labor cost, equaling about $5,800 annually. The annual energy cost for the LEDs is $33, compared to more than $328 for standard 60-watt incandescent bulbs. The longer life of LEDs will more than pay for the cost of energy and labor to replace standard bulbs. 

For information about going green a step at a time, or for assistance with calculating your savings by going green, contact ECU Center for Sustainability Partnership Coordinator Kamara Jones at (252) 737-4312, or NC GreenTravel Initiative Manager Tom Rhodes at (919) 707-8140.

Learn more about the NC Green Travel Initiative here.

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