We forget just how painfully dim the world was before electricity. A candle, a good candle, provides barely a hundredth of the illumination of a single 100 watt light bulb. ~Bill Bryson
I have to admit when saw the topic for week 10 of Every Monday Matters I was a little underwhelmed. Really, I can make today matter just by changing a light bulb? Huh?
There is no doubt that electric lights have changed the world. Having control over light allows humans to work longer and safer. Visibility is increased as well as safety from not using flame powered light sources such as candles and oils. Work can happen before sun up and after sun down inside the home or barn or workplace and streets are safer with outdoor lighting. Not to mention the number of toes that have gone non-stubbed or the monsters that have been chased away from a child's room from the simple addition of the night light. All in all a pretty nifty invention!
Have you visited the light bulb aisle at your favorite store lately? There are a ridiculous number of choices but there is one choice you won't have - the traditional incandescent light bulb. Governments all over the world have decided to phase out these bulbs which are not considered to be energy efficient. Product developers are working on more efficient versions even today.
The bulb that is generally called upon to replace them is the Compact Fluorescent Lamp, otherwise known as CFL. These bulbs - the ones labeled ENERGY STAR - are reported to use 75% less energy and can last ten times longer. So far, that sounds pretty good!
The bulbs stay cooler that other bulbs too, so that's a plus. It is reported that if each US household replaced five incandescent bulbs with CFLs, almost $8 billion of energy cost could be saved in one year. That is pretty impressive too.
There are some drawbacks: the bulbs are expensive and the light that is provided is different - harsher and not as warm. There is one HUGE drawback to them though. There bulbs contain MERCURY which is hazardous material and must be disposed of safely.
Do Not Throw CFL Bulbs in the Trash!
Do you know how to dispose of the CFL bulbs in your home? I found a link that will help you find a recycling center near you for proper disposal...
There is a Lowe's less than ten miles from me that will accept CFLs for proper disposal. I will certainly use this service. It is of great concern to me, though, that I did not know about the hazards of disposing CFLs before writing this post.
What if one is dropped and broken in your home? Here are instructions for proper technique to minimize exposure to mercury:
Please spread the word on this issue. We cannot risk mercury contamination of our soil, water or homes. Today, we can make Monday Matter by replacing light bulbs with more energy efficient models AND by teaching others the proper way to dispose of CFLs. That is a great way to Be Intentional!
Thanks for visiting with me today. I'm always so glad when you stop by :)
Tomorrow, I will look into the new ( really, the old) trend of using bone broth. The history, the benefits and the instructions on this nourishing product will all be part of the discussion, I hope to see you then!
Peace be with you,
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