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Healthy Home: How many Portlanders does it take to change a light bulb? - Printable Version - July 21, 2010
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One. It starts with you!

Did you know that in Portland, each kilowatt-hour of electric power creates more than one pound of carbon emissions? And a typical household uses 12,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year! That is nearly 6 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per home.  

Plus, because our utilities burn a lot of coal to generate electricity, other pollutants like mercury are released into the environment. In fact -- even though the Pacific Northwest is known for producing a lot of hydropower -- only about 30 percent of our electricity in Portland comes from carbon-free sources such as hydro, wind and solar. The rest of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.

One big way to reduce our "carbon footprint" is to cut our use of electricity. Most of us waste some electricity, because we forget--to turn off lights in unoccupied rooms, to run the dishwasher on full loads, or to reset the thermostat. By paying attention and changing our old habits, we can save electricity, save money and reduce our environmental impact.
 
But why not take it a step further! We can start improving the efficiency of our electric lights, appliances and heating equipment. Even replacing one 100-watt incandescent light with a compact fluorescent bulb saves about 100 pounds of carbon emissions each year.

Be sure to check back to learn more about easy steps you and your family can take to begin taking climate actions in the comfort of your home!



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