Today and my family and I went to the Depot, The Home Depot, and picked up our very first package of compact fluorescent lightbulbs. Awwwwwww...they're sooooo cuuuuuuute!
We picked two packs of four bulbs by n:vision; 60 watt equivalents in soft white. They have the EnergyStar logo on the packaging and could it be...it also says guaranteed to last for nine years?!
Also on the packaging is this statement: "Contains Mercury. Dispose according to Local, State or Federal Laws. See www.lamprecycle.org or call 1-800-378-6998."
I had heard about CFLs containing Mercury and was a bit baffled - hadn't we just gotten rid of all our mercury thermometers and phased it out as an additive from most of our vaccines? There was also this piece on NPR. Evidently, mercury is created whether you use CFLs or incandescent blubs and CFLs seem to be the lesser of two evils "because they use less electricity — and coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of mercury emissions in the air." This according to Wendy Reed manager of the Energy Star program at the EPA. I suppose like paint, car oil, and batteries, CFLs just need to be disposed of properly. Let's hope people will take the extra time and effort to do so.
For more information, take a look as these resources from the Energy Star program which recommends the websites www.earth911.org and www.epa.gov/mercury; a fact sheet on mercury in CFLs from the National Energy Manufactuers Assocation produced by the EPA; and answers to frequently asked questions on General Electric's website.
Using the Earth 911 website, I found a site 10 miles from my house that will accept used CFLs. Now what to do with all my incandescent bulbs...