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Tuesday, September 30, 2008



Why humans suck at saving the environment.

I finally broke down and bought a CFL bulb.  Normally the few bulbs that I use, I buy ones that simulate sunlight to help deal with SAD symptoms from very little sun for 6 months.  Around here we range from 12 hours of sunlight at summer solstice to just under 8 hours at winter solstice.  It makes the winter months depressing.  The city and provinicial governments have launched major marketing campaigns about buy CFL bulbs to 'save the environment'.  After listening, watching, reading, being accosted in hallways at the University and malls.  I decided to test it out in the storage room.  I walked up and down the aisle of 'Energy Saving' bulbs at the store, read the packaging and finally picked up a 75watt bulb from the standard bulb section.  I hauled out the ladder and set it up around the kitty litter boxes and while dodging the brat cat who decided to climb it with me, managed to unscrew the old bulb.  I tore open the package and went to screw in the new 'energy saving' bulb, only to find out that it doesn't fit.  What!!! I half fall/ half climb down the ladder, damm cat.  After fishing the pieces of the box from the kitty litter boxes, I piece them together to re-read the box.   Hmmm.....75 efficient...ok.....about $57 a year savings....sure......9 year life.   Ah here we go, at the bottom GU 24 base?  WTF does that mean?  I check all of the marketing material that I've been given....skipping over the irony of handing out pamplets to 'save the environment'.  Nope nothing there about the GU24 base, just pages and pages about how easy it is to replace your old bulbs, just go out and buy a CFL one.  I love Google, it's my daily saviour.  Ah, apparently there are three types of bulbs; the regular screw you type that most apartments, house, lamps etc around here are made with; the ones that are used in commercial applications like office buildings and schools; and the GU24 base one that requires an adaptor.   Huh?  No where in any of the marketing material does it say any thing like that.  So now to 'save the environment' and 'save energy' I have a bulb that I can't use, in a torn cardboard box dusted oh so lightly with clumping cat litter, an inbox full of paper material extoling the virtues of said unusable bulb and I've gone to the store once by bike, now it will be twice or more (I probably will have to get the adaptor at one of the hardware stores on the other side of town which means using the bus or car),  had to waste my energy with the ladder, and the energy used by my computer trying to find out why I couldn't use the bulb that I just bought.  Final verdict..CFL bulbs suck and I haven't even turned one on yet.


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