As of January 1 the 100 watt incandescent bulbs that I grew up with are banned with lower wattage incandescent bulbs phasing out over the next two years, a truly expensive ideology for the Average Joe considering that the old bulbs cost about 43 cents. I am environmentally conscious and invested in a couple of twisty high-efficiency light bulbs that cost a bit more than $4 per bulb and give off a bright bluish light that most women, especially those over 40, try to avoid. A softer golden light can be found with the more costly LED bulbs. I myself am opting for candlelight in the bedroom where I undress. At the top of the chain are the super-long-lasting LED diode light bulbs which cost between 25 and 50 dollars apiece. If I replace 7 incandescent bulbs with twisty CFL bulbs we will have monthly energy savings of $5 and should break even in 6 months. If I replace 7 bulbs with $25 LED diode bulbs we will break even in 2 and a half years with an energy savings of approximately $6 per month; double that to 5 years if we buy the softer $50 bulbs, which every woman needs in the room where she applies makeup. If you have ever gotten dolled up in fluorescent lighting you know that once you walk outdoors it looks like clown face paint because fluorescent light washes out color. Considering fluorescent lighting will be prevalent in all indoor environments, you may want to ignore the stares in lieu of looking good once you step inside. Consumer Reports cites a 37% increase this year alone for the twisty bulbs, due in large part to China’s control of rare earth resources, namely europium oxide. The arguably good news is that a mining company has discovered a supply of rare earth elements buried beneath 500 feet of overlying rock right here in Elk Creek, Nebraska, population 112.
I love the outdoors, but we have seen that green initiatives touted as making our world a less polluted place are typically driven by greed and laced with cronyism while the public only receives the sunny side of the story. A perfect example is the construction of wind turbines that will destroy wildlife habitats if not strictly monitored. Part B of the equation is Wind Capital Group, who received a 107 million dollar tax credit and later held a $25,000 per plate fundraiser for President Obama. Such is the case with the twisty compact fluorescent lamp bulbs which contain mercury and will need to be recycled as hazardous waste. I have not encountered anyone who knows exactly where we should dispose of the new bulbs, not even online, but I bet there is a member of Congress who has a friend… Until I find out I’ll just keep the burned out bulbs in the garage next to the old oil and paint.