Investing in going green can earn you money if you make the right investments. And when times are tough, as they are now, and when interest rates on your savings are less than 1%, most people are happy for even mid-single-digit percentage returns. But I know a green investment that can do much better and it carries with it almost no chance of loss.
I am going to tell you how you can make an easy, practically risk-free investment that will earn 10 times your money. This is not a tip for a hot stock, and it is not risky or shady in the slightest. In fact, this tip is as close to 100% certain to earn you money as anything I know of. And this is an investment that is completely under your control. You will not pay brokerage fees or commissions to anyone (okay, you will have to pay some sales tax). Here it is: Buy compact fluorescent lights.
As a green home improvement and an investment in yourself, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are nearly a sure thing. CFLs use only one-quarter as much electricity as a comparable incandescent light. Another benefit is their longevity. CFLs last about 10 times longer than the older, standard light bulbs. As technology has improved and volumes of production have gone up, you can now buy a CFL bulb for about the same price as a standard incandescent light bulb. And CFLs generate less heat than incandescent lights, so using them will reduce your cooling costs in the summer. Even better is that some newer versions of CFLs now work with dimmer switches.
So, here is the deal. Buy 20 compact fluorescent light bulbs and install them in your home. The bulbs will cost you about $30 to $40 at a large home supply store like Home Depot or Lowes. Each bulb will save you about $5 per year in electricity over the incandescent bulb you were previously using. With a total of 20 bulbs, that works out to about $100 in savings per year. Within 5 years, assuming that electricity rates simply stay the same, you will have earned $500 or more than 10 times your investment. If electric rates rise, as is almost as certain as the sun rising in the east, your earnings will be even greater. This investment will continue to pay off year after year.
By making this simple, risk-free investment, you will have the added benefit of making your contribution to saving energy as well. Maybe that will help you sleep better at night, maybe not. And having some extra money in your pocket certainly can’t hurt.