Monday, April 21, 2008

It isn't easy being green.

I hate CFLs.

It's a hard thing for me to admit. On a regular basis, i do as much as i can to be environmentally conscious (save driving my car and running the water when i brush my teeth).

I have bought the reusable grocery bags. I refuse to have my meat wrapped in plastic grocery bags. I never take clear produce bags unless i'm buying beans (which is very very rare). I recycle all paper and cardboard including the toilet paper rolls and envelopes from junk mail. I save all of my leftover food. I save almost all of my plastic yogurt containers for future use and recycle the rest when i have too many. I hang my laundry to dry. I turn off lights. I turn off the heat.

I truly wanted to like CFLs but i just can't. I HATE them.

They suck. They are expensive and yet ironically, they look like discount. I can spot a CFL from a mile away. When i walk around my neighbourhood i can point out every house on the block that uses CFLs - "CFL, incandescent, CFL, CFL, incandescent" or instead i'll say "gross, nice, gross, gross, warm".

It doesn't seem to matter if you buy the "warm" light CFLs. They still cast a hideous, low wattage film all over the room.

Mat has even tried to trick me into liking them. He will install CFLs where he thinks i wont' notice, but i always do. Now they're in my closet and make my already sorry wardrobe (if you can call it that) look even more pathetic. There's one in the hallway and another in a side table lamp. Hate hate hate.

Thank god the pack we bought don't work with dimmer switches which we have in the rec room.

And hey - did you know they have mercury in them? I didn't. I dropped one and it broke and i just wiped up the broken glass and vacuumed. Now i've learned that if a CFL breaks you are supposed to make all humans and pets leave the room for at least 15 minutes immediately after the bulb has broken. You are supposed to ventilate the room by opening outside doors and windows. You are supposed to turn off the central heating and air conditioning. Then, when you clean it up you are supposed to but the broken pieces and anything you used to clean the area into a GLASS JAR with a METAL LID. THEN, when you vacuum (which you are only supposed to do if you have carpet because by vacuuming you are increasing the chances of it being recirculated into the air every time you use the vacuum) you are supposed to again turn off the central heat / air and then wash the vacuum canister or dispose of the bag into a GLASS JAR with a METAL LID. You are supposed to follow the same procedure of ventilating the area and turning off the heat / air the next several times you vacuum. You are not supposed to wash clothes in the washing machine that have come in contact with the mercury because it can contaminate other clothes when you wash them in the machine - you are supposed to DISPOSE of any and all clothing and bedding that have come in contact with mercury. Only clothing that has been exposed to the mercury vapor is ok to put in the washing machine. Don't believe that this could be actually true? Here you go:
Umm.....scary much??

I am so worried when the time comes that incandescents are banned. I've told Mat that when they make the official announcement i will stock pile our house with incandescents. I mean really, at 80 cents each or however much they cost, it can be my Christmas present.

Does anyone else have a problem with CFLs?


Anonymous said...

Hi Roz,

I hate, hate, hate CFLs too! The light looks terrible and none of the bulbs I have bought fit my lamps. I think I'll also stockpile the incandescent. I had no idea about the mercury - I can't believe the dangers associated with breaking a bulb. That is ridiculous! There must be a better solution that uses less energy and is not toxic.

- Bonnie

Aaron said...

I hate those cursed things, and I hate the damn commercials for them. I couldn't take it anymore and bought a good old fashioned American light bulb out of spite. I will always use Edison's invention, and I believe any legislation banning incandescents is a ploy to force CFL sales to go up, thereby greatly profiting the patent holders. Its a money making scam, they don't actually care about energy efficiency...and don't be fooled, just because you don't use the energy, doesn't mean it isn't getting produced.