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Hoosiers Care

Hoosiers Care > Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions

How do I participate in Hoosiers Care?

Participating in Hoosiers Care is easy and free. The first step is to complete the pledge. The pledge asks you to promise to take one easy step to start changing the future. By taking the pledge, you can be counted among the many Hoosiers taking steps to change Indiana’s future for the better. You can also participate by telling us about innovative people or programs in your community. If you give us your e-mail address, we’ll even send you updates throughout the next year on other small steps you can take to save money and improve Indiana's future. And don’t worry about spam, we never sell our e-mail lists.

What is the Hoosier Care Pledge?

Participating in Hoosiers Care is easy and free. The first step is to complete the pledge. The pledge asks you to promise to take one easy step to start changing the future. If you give us your e-mail address, we’ll continue to send you updates throughout the next year on other small steps you can take to save money and improve Indiana's future. And don’t worry about spam, we never sell our e-mail lists.

What is Hoosiers Care?

Hoosiers Care is a free program designed to help Hoosiers better understand how changing their daily actions can help save money and change the future. How can only one person make a difference? It all starts with one person making a simple, small change. Multiply that small change by the six million Hoosiers living in Indiana and you create a large statewide impact. That’s an impact that can truly change Indiana’s future. But, it can’t be done without you!

Check out the Do your Part section to find out how you can make small changes that have big, positive impacts both on your budget and the environment. Or visit the online calculator to find out just how much you or your family can save by making changes around your home. When you’re ready to participate in Hoosiers Care, visit the Take the Pledge page and sign up to be counted among the Hoosiers taking the first step.

How can I save money and the environment?

Saving money and the environment really is easy. All it takes is being willing to make a few small changes around the house and in your daily life. The first step is understanding where and how to save. Check out the Hoosiers Care Environmental Impact Calculator. The calculator shows real-world results for very simple changes, illustrating how much household water, energy, and money can be saved. See how much you can save! Once you've used the calculator and have seen just how much you can easily do to help the environment and save money, take the online pledge and join the thousands of Hoosiers across the state that have already taken the Hoosiers Care Pledge.

How can I tell other Hoosiers about projects in my community?

Hoosiers Care has a special area to help you get information about innovative people and programs in your community out to other Hoosiers. You can submit a short video, email or article for posting on our site. Visit the Share Your Story page for more information.

How can changing one light bulb change the future?

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are energy-efficient, money-saving replacements for traditional incandescent light bulbs. CFLs cost a little more at the register, but they provide a savings over the life of the bulb (approximately $4 per bulb, while incandescent light bulbs generally cost $0.50 per bulb). ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. Switching to CFLs effectively reduces energy use at home and work, which can reduce air emissions from power plants. Lighting accounts for close to 20 percent of the average home’s electric bill. Changing your incandescent light bulb to a CFL reduces energy demand, which reduces the amount of coal burned and mercury emitted.

How do I recycle CFL bulbs?

To find a recycling facility near you, visit www.recycle.IN.gov.

Do CFLs contain mercury?

CFLs do contain a small amount of mercury. CFLs contain an average of 5 milligrams of mercury, which is enough to cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. A watch battery contains about five times as much mercury. The mercury is safely sealed inside the light bulb’s glass tubing and is not emitted when CFLs are in use. There is no substitute for mercury in CFLs, but many manufacturers have taken significant steps to reduce the amount of mercury inside their fluorescent lighting products. Using CFLs saves energy and yields significant air quality benefits that outweigh the potential impacts related to the small amount of mercury contained in the light bulbs.

To prevent the release of mercury into the environment, take CFLs to your local recycling facility instead of throwing them away. Follow these guidelines to ensure proper handling, use and disposal of CFLs:

  1. As with any light bulb, be careful when removing it from packaging, during installation, or when replacing it.
  2. Always screw and unscrew the light bulb by its base (not the glass) and never forcefully twist the CFL into a light socket.
  3. Always recycle burned-out and broken CFLs. To find out where to recycle in your community, visit http://www.recycle.in.gov/.

What do I do if I break a CFL bulb?

Follow these guidelines for cleaning up a broken CFL:

  1. Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes to let the powder settle and vapors dissipate.
  2. Using rubber gloves, carefully scoop up the bulb fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard and place in a sealable plastic bag, such as a freezer bag.
  3. Pick up small glass shards with tape (such as duct tape or packaging tape). Wipe hard surfaces down with a damp paper towel or a disposable wet wipe and place the used towel or wipe in the plastic bag. Do not use a vacuum cleaner to clean up broken CFLs.
  4. Seal all cleanup materials, including gloves and paper, in the plastic bag. Double-seal the plastic bag inside a second plastic bag and store outside or in the garage.
  5. Take the sealed plastic bags and any other burned-out CFLs to your local solid waste management district or community household hazardous waste collection program for recycling.