The CFL (compact fluorescent light bulb) has become something of an icon or symbol for the change to a greener more sustainable way of being. It represents a simple way to make a difference in our current climate crisis. From corporate giveaways to grass-roots fundraising events, the CFL has become a gesture towards the growing awareness that we need to be more conscious of how we use energy. It's many benefits are touted and shouted, but we don't as often hear about the serious problems associated with the MERCURY inside them!
Representative Poe went on a serious rant about a law that would require a switch to CFLs by 2014. I'm not sure how I feel about legislation dictating product choices. I suspect it is more of a congressional reaction to the outcry for a greener US - pandering to the widespread concern about climate change. Perhaps it is well-meaning, but I really don't know enough about the Bill to pass judgment. See what the congressman Poe says about CFLs and the Bill that would outlaw incandescent bulbs.
Okay. Here's what I found out:
- the amount of mercury is VERY tiny
- some manufacturers use less than others - Turolight's Genesis Fusion line seems to have the lowest
- it isn't that difficult to recycle CFLs. almost all local recycling depots will take them or instruct you how to deal with them - if you don't leave your lights on excessively, these things last a long time and this shouldn't be a huge hassle.
- BUT, WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T BREAK THESE SUCKERS!
- actually, don't panic. the instructions seem extensive, but the risks are supposed to be minimal. just keep calm and follow these instructions about cleaning up after a CFL break in your home.
- we've been using fluorescent lights in offices and commercial facilities since the 1930s!
has anyone every broken one of these things? please let me know about your experience with it.:) GD Meg