Friday, January 21, 2011

CFL's

I have complained about those stupid supposedly 'better' bulbs that so many have said are great, much better for the environment, etc etc various times in the past on this blog. But I must admit I was surprised to see a post on Natural News.com about them today! Here are some excerpts:

"The idea to ban incandescent bulbs emerged from the false notion that compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) are better for the environment because they use less energy. "

Notice that naturalnews says 'false' notion.

I was also reading through the comments on their facebook page and saw others post that they too changed all their bulbs to CFLs and most were burned out within a year. That's exactly what happened in my house. I changed the burned ones back to the old incandescents and have not had to replace them yet even though it is coming up on 2 years. Well, tell a lie, I've had to replace the outdoor ones at least once per winter season but they go through a lot more than the indoor ones do so I'm not surprised. At any rate, I had the CFLs burn out after one week of -30C weather so the incandescents still did far far better.

A lot of the members of the natural news facebook site are trying to be healthier and more respectful to the environment, but I saw comments from people saying they were going to go out and buy 10 years worth of incandescent bulbs before the ban was supposed to go into effect next year. And it wasn't just because of the apparent mercury content either, according to the comments. A lot of people had trouble with the bulbs not lasting as long, and just not being able to afford to replace the CFLs over and over.

I did see a couple people say they definately saved money on their electric bill - but I would like to ask those people if they saved as much as the inital cost of the bulbs. I can tell you right now that I know I did not save $300 on my electric bill in that first year of using CFLs lol. That's what I would have to save just to break even with the cost of the bulbs themselves, let alone 'save' anything. But I am a little confused at some comments on the page saying that the coal plants that provide the energy for incandescents (ie coal electricity popular in so many US states) is dirtier still --- well, um... if you have all CFLs in your home, you are still using coal plant electricity so I fail to see the relevance of that comment lol. It was like some people were saying it's still better to use CFLs despite the mercury - well then they are using coal AND mercury... duh?!

Hmmm interesting side note, a commenter said that today the CEO of GE was named Jobs Creation Czar - but his company just closed the last incandescent bulb factory in the US and sold the contract to China. How's that for job creation? Weeeee

But this has got to be the scariest part.... another link on Natural News about what happened when a woman broke a CFL bulb in her daughter's bedroom and phoned someone to find out how she should clean it up, since she was unsure of the mercury.... Read This

If you think that is a hocus pocus story, you should READ THIS - the official EPA.gov webpage on how to clean up a broken CFL bulb.

Here are some highlights of the cleanup plan:
Before Cleanup


•Have people and pets leave the room, and avoid the breakage area on the way out.

•Open a window or door to the outdoors and leave the room for 5-10 minutes.

•Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning (H&AC) system, if you have one.

•Collect materials you will need to clean up the broken bulb:

◦Stiff paper or cardboard

◦Sticky tape (e.g., duct tape)

◦Damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces)

◦Glass jar with a metal lid (such as a canning jar) or a sealable plastic bag(s)
______________

Vacuuming of hard surfaces during cleanup is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. [NOTE: It is possible that vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor, although available information on this problem is limited]
______________
•Continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the H&AC system shut off, as practical, for several hours.

______________


So anyway, after reading that, I dont even give a crap about the money savings (or not), I dont want another single one of these ridiculous bulbs in my home. Not ever. I think there is one left in one of my fixtures somewhere, and I am going to find it and get rid of it.

What about if these things are in our garbage dumps? Geezus murphy what a load of crap all this is!
 

4 comments:

  1. It's nuts why can't we all see this global warming crap,I have bought about 100 bulbs so far went out to 5 stores no one has 100 watt bulbs anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some CFLs are of pretty poor quality, you have to watch out. I lucked out and got decent ones. Most are over 4 years old now and I've got one that's going on to about 7.

    You also have to watch for prices. They've really dropped lately; I got 6 for $10 a few weeks back at Canadian Tire.

    As for the mercury, the comments on the coal plants is that supposedly there will be less mercury released into the environment because coal plants emit mercury. The less electricity used the less mercury in the air.

    To put it into context though, a watch batter has about 10 times the mercury in a CFL, but if you're still worried about breaking them you can buy ones that are sealed in a silicon "bulb".

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm actually being a tad facetious. I don't know that there is a big worry about the mercury levels, but what never fails to amaze is how so many 'green' products come out and everyone jumps on the bandwagon and then years down the line, I hear FAR more complaints from people who are self-confessed greenies, tree huggers, etc about such products.

    Case in point - plastic bags. Save the Trees, use plastic. Yayyyyyy we saved trees. Fast forward 15 or so years, and suddenly the same groups of people are screaming from the mountaintops about how plastic bags are destroying the planet and should not be used anymore.

    I watched a program about a trial wind farm running in Ontario where a textbook 'granola' couple were complaining about the wind farm giving them headaches and making them feel nauseous 24 hours day, and how they want them gone even though originally they supported the idea and signed the contract to have them built near their home.

    And then I hear for years about how bad 'regular' light bulbs are, and how we should change things so the greener bulbs come out, everyone buys them, lobbies the govt to ban incandescent bulbs and then *gasp* I see those SAME people now screaming about mercury levels and talking about how they hoard regular bulbs and buy them any chance they can in order to stock up and are now cheering that US congress is considering scrapping the ban set for 2012. All this on a natural site that calls for people not to get the H1N1 vaccine, believes that MMR causes autism, calls for people not to eat meat dairy or eggs due to enviro impact - and now they are calling FOR the use of incandescent bulbs instead of CFLs.

    Personally I don't want to use them because of all the different brands I have purchased, I was only happy with one, my headaches got worse in the computer room and I feel like it's never bright enough for me to read properly. My workplace put them in and it takes ages for the lights to brighten enough for the little daycare kids to see their way around one of their play rooms, etc.

    Personal reasons for me. I certainly did not see my electricity useage go down after entirely outfitting my whole house at the same time (I have kept every single bill dating back to before we got these bulbs, and there is little to no change at all in the useage levels) so I'm not entirely sure how much mercury I would have helped keep out of the atmosphere if my electric came from a coal fire plant...

    Oh and I am now recalling a news piece from a year or so ago with an environmental group fighting the solar panels being placed in the california desert because of potential effects on area wildlife. I forgot about that. No matter what gets done and enviro people support in the first place, I hear them shouting about it years later when the plan doesnt turn out as they originally expected.

    My point of posting the cleanup rules from the EPA website is that the very same agency calls for the ban of incandescents, and then posts that list of how to clean up after breaking CFLs. It just seems completely ridiculous, but it's not the first time I have seen it and it won't be the last.

    Wait until all the electric cars become more and more popular, or even required, and the same people who support it now start complaining about how much electricity is going to waste while people charge up their little car cars.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yep. I predict the next big flip-flop will be fur and leather vs synthetic-oil based products.

    What's worse for the environment? A sustainable product that doesn't pollute and is easily decomposable, or what's basically plastic?

    The same thing is basically happening right now with wood products and heating VS alternatives. "Cutting trees is bad", but what are the alternatives? Trees grow back, they "store" carbon so they're "carbon neutral" and young replanted trees absorb more C02 than mature trees.

    ReplyDelete

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