Education is a wonderful thing, it’s the expression of knowledge from one who has it, to one that doesn’t. But what is this concept of ecology? I don’t think we yet understand ecology. One man’s ecology is another man’s garbage.
My parents explained that there was a time when electric utilities promoted electric consumption. The argument went like this-“it costs MORE to turn lights off and on than to just leave them on.” Hence the promotion to consume more. Extend that concept to the utilities billing practices-I can remember even into the 60’s, if you reached a certain amount of consumption, your price per kilowatt-hour decreased, making it “cheaper” to use more electricity.
Today is a totally different animal, someone invented the word ecology and the definition to go with it. Today, we WANT to turn everything off to save kilowatt-hours, but everything today is designed to STAY ON! All of the electronic components have built in “stay hot” parts that maintain the internal, clocks, channel memory, frequency memories, etc.
Does common sense EVER enter into this ecology business? I’m beginning to wonder. Let’s consider the incandescent light bulb that has been crucified as inefficient. Our replacement for inefficiency is the CFL lighting. (Compact Flourescent Lighting). This efficient replacement should be the basis of our ecological self-satisfaction. BUT WAIT, CFL’s have mercury as their lighting component. Mercury is an ecological hazard!! We MUST dispose of these units at authorized “drop-off” locations. ALERT!!-If you drop and break one at home, special clean-up directions should be followed. Not only do you need handling/disposal instruction, so do the collectors of such a harmful product. Where is our common sense? Replacing an energy eater for cancer causer, AND, they are more expensive than incandescent.
Enter the next replacement-Halogen. Halogen bulbs are brighter and smaller than either the incandescent or the CFL and they don’t have mercury. But, not all is well with this product either…dangers lurk out there! Halogens have a temperature issue. Not only to the touch, but fire hazard, due to the immense amount heat generated-and, their cost is even greater than CFL’s.
I dropped off a sack of 6 CFL’s at one of my local retailers that not only sells, but accepts the result of lifeless CLF’s. The front door helper, wasn’t instantly sure of the disposal-boxes location!! Not a good sign, nor was the fact that only few lights were returned for disposal. Either everyone is getting longer life success with their CFL’s than me, or education has not been extended to them and they’re pitching CFL’s into the trash.
My next concern is the common battery. The Duracell site, states that “they” removed mercury from their battery’s in 1993, and can therefore be safely placed with the common waste items. If you continue reading, the last sentence says; “Proven cost-effective and environmentally safe recycling processes are not yet universally available for alkaline batteries. ” I’m not exactly sure what this means…other than if you take your batteries somewhere–as I did–(the 2-“D”, 4-“AA”, batteries and the 1-6-Volt Lantern); I paid $1.00 for “disposal” and they’ll probably just still wind up in the common trash!!
So let’s think about this, since it’s my generation that began this “buy now” throw-a-way” economy; Why do we seem to be replacing these ecological dinosaurs with ecological hazards?
I think it must be time for us to go-back to school and learn what ecology really means. We would probably learn that we should return to the incandescent light bulb, and just turn it off when we leave the room….
I wonder if I can get my grandchildren to learn that?