So yesterday, I tossed out what I figured to be a short, throw-away post on Earth Day. I'd planned it to be bigger, and more insightful and funnier, but I'd kinda spent myself earlier in the week telling ya'll how great Cora is and all, and I just kinda needed a rest. (And she's still got the energy of a Super Ball hopped up on sugar and caffeine to keep going.) :-) Anyhow, I was going to do another snippets / details post today, but I've decided to follow up on yesterday's Earth Day discussion, instead, and will get back to the weekend's details over the weekend.
You all raised some interesting questions, and I thought that instead of replying in the comments section, I'd do it in a second post, where there's more than enough room to spread out.
Don't worry, I respect all of your opinions, and this isn't going to turn into some great "CFL's vs.. Incandescent" debate or fear mongering over mercury poisoning from a broken bulb.
I read something a while ago about a new technique in manufacturing LCD which will bring their price right down within a few years. Of course, I can't remember what I read, when I read it, or what the technique was.
Comment by Scope: I have hear the same / similar things. That's why I think I'm going to hold off. I mean, I have well over 20 recessed lights in my ceiling. I'm not going to buy $120 bulbs for each. That's nuts.
I'm a big fan of the canvas grocery bags... but as you saw in Seattle, I don't carry them with me EVERYWHERE, I'm not perfect.
I try to recycle as much as possible to cut down on what gets thrown away, and, truth be told, our recycling can is twice as big as our trash can, so that motivates me.
I don't drive much.
I do the laundry in cold water.
I'm breaking the bottled water habit (sniffle) but it isn't easy.
What I REFUSE to do to save the planet though is switch to CFL's. Here's why:
They catch on fire/melt/scorch the ceiling when they burn out. It happened to my sister in her garage. And it happened in my daughter's bedroom.
Mm-hmm. Imagine racing down the hall with a chair and an oven mitt to pull a burning, melting light bulb out of your kid's ceiling and smelling everything scorching, and seeing waves of heat rolling across the ceiling as your kid is screaming.
That blackening, melting bulb burned my hand through the oven mitt and it burned my kid's ceiling.
Never again will I use them. I switched back to regular bulbs that very same day. Those things are scary. And house fires do NOTHING to save the planet. I'll be a good old fashioned light bulb girl until I die.
Comment by Scope: I'm trying to get into the "REDUCE" segment of "REDUCE. REUSE. RECYCLE." I don't dispose of a useful item just because it's old. And I have used the Post Office's little plastic bags for recycling small electronics. And Chicago even has a recycling center where my old PC went. (The hard drive of said PC is in my closet.)
I've never heard that about CFL's and fire. But I did read (I've spent most of the evening doing reading on light bulbs) that some of the early CFLs were not designed to be used upside down, especially in an enclosed space, because the heat could melt the plastic on the base. I suppose that could lead to fire. Regardless, I will work with you on safe lighting WHEN we get to that point.
And as you are well aware, you can't use a CFL in a purple Lava Lamp. :-)
Sassy Britches said...
Eeeps! Cora! Maybe ya'll were using a too powerful wattage for the outlet? That's freaky! And dangerous--not just the fire but they're filled with mercury which it really bad if exposed outside the bulb!
Comment by Scope: I will quibble here. The things HAVE a small amount of mercury, but I wouldn't say FILLED. They have less than 1% of the mercury than one of those old thermometers did. [Source]
And here's an interesting SNOOPS article on the topic of mercury exposure from the bulbs. I hope it at least somewhat puts your mind at ease.
LOL I post an Earth Day post, look in my blog roll and there's Ol Scope with an Earth day past as well...
Comment by Scope: Whenever I hear that phrase, I think of this cartoon. It just slays me every time.
- sAm said...
One of the easiest (and cheapest) things you can do is just watch the packaging on "stuff" you buy - and try to reduce the amount of "stuff" you buy.
But that being said...I have to say you're better than I am at laundry...I use warm water and don't really give a shit if the load is full.
Comment by Scope: I wish there was more control over the wasteful packaging. But I do buy pop in 2l bottles vs.. aluminum cans. Less packaging.
Scary about the light bulb thing!!
I try to be very earth friendly. I like the earth!
Comment by Scope: I like the Earth too. The thing is, and I'm stealing it I think from Denis Leary, is that the Earth is going to be just fine. WE may be SCREWED, but the Earth is going to shake us off like a bad cold.
The other grand thing about the CFLs is that they're filled with mercury. Hope they don't break!
Comment by Scope: I will bet cash money that you are routinely exposed to higher concentrations of harmful substances than you would get from a broken CFL. It's around half the OSHA limit. [Source]
And that's just after 1 can of Hormel Chili.
I have not been sold on the CFL's yet, I still use standard bulbs. But we do a really good job on the recycling!
Comment by Scope: And I think that's really the point. If more people made a little change that they were comfortable with, and not be made to feel like a schmuck for all the things they AREN'T doing, maybe more little things would get done.
- Gwen said...
I think the best thing we can do is just be more aware of the things we are manufacturing and consuming that have half-lives of 2,000 years.
Comment by Scope: True. And if it's going to be around that long, make it cool stuff that people will want around in 2,000 years, like THIS! (Showing you some linky love.)
I recycle, clothes... Only when they don't stink... And only once! Or maybe it was twice but who's counting??
But really I do recycle everything and I won't let my dad buy anything in a plastic container that isn't recyclable because I care.
Comment by Scope: I hate to sound like your dad, but your generation was
indoctrinatedtaught that at an early are. Mine wasn't, so changing some of those synapses is harder for us.
And with a child, you have a vested interest in the future of the environment. My carbon footprint ends with me.
- J.J. in L.A. said...
We used to recycle but the city told us to stop...they'd sort it at the plant. That's one job I hope they don't do manually. lol!
Comment by Scope: I'll bet you that it IS done mostly by hand. Let's just hope that it is a well gloved hand.
I have mixed feelings about how to best protect the environment. I can't stand seeing people litter or being wasteful, but I also hate being preached to by hypocritical celebrities and politicians. The whole carbon footprint thing reminds me of the selling of indulgences. I'm all for taking better care our our environment.
Comment by Scope: And here's the comment that made me write this as a post, not just a comment. I have said for YEARS that I wish I'd come up with the whole "carbon credit"
scamidea. You send me some cash, and I'll send you a certificate stating that I'm going to use that money to plant a tree to offset your emissions.
GENIUS! And they probably print it on "recycled" paper. Yeah, probably from a "recycled" giant redwood tree!