A simple switch to CFLs
Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) are controversial. They require much less energy to work than incandescent bulbs, thus pump far less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, they contain mercury, which is a toxic substance. But if handled and disposed of properly, they should pose no safety concerns. I did a little research and found four sites that have dramatically reassured me on the safety and effectiveness of CFLs:
- This article at TreeHugger explains the recycling process of mercury.
- Snopes.com, the myth debunker, tells you how to clean up a CFL if you break it in your home. (read this!)
- Greenpeace explains how using CFLs actually reduces the amount of mercury in the environment.
- Finally, this very cool site -- A Simple Switch -- created by Phillips, provides a gorgeous visual tour of the environmental impact of switching to CFLs. (Make sure to turn on your volume.) Yes, they manufacture CFLs and have an economic incentive to get you to switch. But all of the arguments are valid. Work through the entire tour (on the far right, click the "commit to switch" button and follow it all the way through). Your kids will also love this!