What You Can Do….and save money too.
Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs use less electricity and can instantly replace incandescent light bulbs. The product pictured draws 25 watts and puts out about the same light as a 100 watt incandescent light bulb. The electronic energy saving lamp has a color temperature of 2700K, features instant on, flicker free operation, a claimed life of 10,000 hours or 9 years. The manufacturer claims they can be used in any fixture. Several lawmakers have already introduced legislation to outlaw tried and proven normal incandescent bulbs in a misguided effort to save energy and reduce pollution. This would be a huge mistake. Having tested and used several brands of these types of Compact Fluorescent replacement lamps, I have come to several conclusions. While the lamps do save energy they only last about two years, (much less if they are used in an enclosed fixture), which is the duration of their warranty. Also they contain mercury which is a hazardous material, and thus must be handled with extreme care, and disposed of properly. Some of the lamps are noisy and can really give you a headache, furthermore the heat that normal incandescent bulbs generate can be a good thing in the winter as they can raise the room temperature a few degrees. My recommendation is to use the Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs if they are quiet and are used in the open air, not in a closed fixture as they fail quickly and might even be a fire hazard in an enclosed fixture. In the winter switch to normal incandescent bulbs. Electric heat is better because it does not asphyxiate you like heaters which burn fossil fuels.
The second thing you can do immediately and inexpensively is also great for emergency use as well and that is to use people power. Buy a radio and a flashlight that are dynamo and solar cell powered. These items can be recharged in the sun, or by turning a crank by hand for a couple of minutes and they really function well if they are designed properly. You cannot beat a radio that plays for hours after turning a crank for 90 seconds. Flashlights with light emitting diodes are equally as fantastic in an emergency. You will never again have to depend on a flashlight with dead batteries to leave you in the dark during the next power failure. Just turn the crank and let there be light. No batteries to let you down or dispose of. That is environmentally friendly and smart too.