Sunday, July 20, 2008
Now There's a Bright Idea!
A few weeks ago, I was turning on a bedside lamp when the bulb blew. This sort of thing truly freaks me out. I have a bit of an electricity phobia. I think it was born in my adolescence, when, during a particularly nasty thunderstorm in Richlands, N.C., the lightbulb in the lamp I was reading Ramona Quimby next to suddenly exploded. Then, a middle school boyfriend's father was struck by lightening. Twice. He was on his tractor. Farmer's gotta do what a farmer's gotta do, you know?
More recently, last summer, as a thunderstorm raged outside, I kept hearing a popping sound, only to discover blue sparks coming out of the outlet where our answering machine is plugged in. We set about the business of getting the house grounded immediately. I like my house, and my husband, and my animals, and having us all meet a crispy demise just isn't what I have in mind for my future.
All that said, the bulb that blew was a CFL, which I'd yet to deal with the disposal of. As they are a type of florescent bulb, CFL's contain trace amounts of mercury and cannot therefore be disposed of with regular household garbage as mercury is considered a hazardous waste. A quick search on the internet turned up a number of online means of CFL disposal, all incurring some cost. Today, however, I came upon the best disposal means yet, and it is one which most Americans can easily participate in. Home Depot, as part of its Eco Options program, in addition to selling CFL's, will now offer recycling of the bulbs in all 1,973 of its locations. The free service involves bringing in any expired, unbroken bulbs to the returns counter of any Home Depot store, which will then work with an environmental management company to safely package, ship and recycle the spent bulbs. As increasing numbers of retailers offer such purchase- to-disposal services, consumers can make more informed shopping choices when seeking out energy solutions for themselves and their families. While one light bulb purchase won't save the world, more Making The Circle Round thinking just might.