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Sunday, April 15, 2007

OM's Green(ish) Proposal

I will make this confession: Orthodad is pretty much my conscience when it comes to being green (in the environmental - not kermit - sense). It isn't that I don't care as much about the environment as he does, it's just that I'm not as committed on a day-to-day basis to worrying about how my actions hurt the environment. Perhaps that's because our sanitation district does not require curbside recycling (supposedly, the trash gets sorted into recyclables and non-recyclables at the plant), and it's easy not to think about the ramifications to our landfills when it's all chucked out together. Perhaps it's easy to ignore in a community such as mine, where being green is not exactly considered chic (Mammoth SUV's in every driveway? Check. Homes with highest-tech heat-producing halogen lighting - then cooled to 68 degrees with constant central air? Check. You get the picture). Either way, my husband is always the one to respond to the PSA's we hear during summer heat waves, requesting that homeowners turn their thermostats up to the high 70's to save energy and prevent area blackouts. He's the one who sweetly chided me to use an insulated travel mug for my morning coffee instead of the the disposable paper cups with plastic sip-tops I had been favoring, and asked me if we could stop using so much in the way of plastic disposable silverware. He's the one who called the contractor over after he noticed that after a snowfall, the snow on our roof was melting very quickly, which he had read somewhere meant that our roof wasn't insulated properly (he was right - the contractor told us that with the newly installed insulation, we would likely save on our heating bills the next winter). He's the one who runs around from room to room of the house, turning lights off. You get the picture, I think.

He's also the one who's been asking me for a while now to buy some energy-saving compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFL's) for the house. Apparently, they can save 75% of the energy incandescents use, and cost less, and last 10 times longer. But, I had always heard that they give off a sickly cast - who wants their bedrooms to have the same greenish lighting of their office cubes? Certainly not me. So I've been resisting his requests. Today he sent me this article, from Popular Mechanics, which shows that in comparison tests, the fluorescents actually outperformed the incandescents in brightness and lighting quality.

So here is my proposal. What do my readers say to all of us going out and stocking up on the CFL's for all of our houses. It would be kind of hard to convince me that there would be a big impact on the environment if I were to make the switch to CFL's today. But maybe if a group of my readers did so at the same time? C'mon...let's all give it a shot.

My next light bulb purchase will include the best performer in the Popular Mechanics review, the N:Vision Soft White bulb. Who's with me?

Also, has anyone recently made the switch to CFL's in their home? How did it go?

47 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

we're making the switch gradually, as bulbs burn out . . . we can't afford to do it all at once. so far, our room and the kids' room and bathrooms are all CFLed, but the living room, dining room, and basement are not yet there. The kitchen has regular fluorescent bulbs for many years.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two things to keep in mind. The generally available bulbs are quite unsightly and don't fit well into many kinds of sockets. More significantly, although the CFLs are energy efficient, they usualy contain mercury and other toxic substances. If consumers are not disposing of these bulbs properly (this requires sending them to special landfills)and more and more people make the switch, more and more mercury will wind up in our waterways and drinking water supply.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Ezer K'negdo said...

We made the switch over the winter. We think it is just fine, although the bulbs are not that attractive, we have not noticed a huge difference in the lighting quality. Good luck!

8:05 PM  
Anonymous all switched up said...

Anon 8:03:
Re the mercury issue, it isn't as serious as you claim:

"The head of the Environmental Protection Agency program concedes that not enough has been done to urge people to recycle CFL bulbs and make it easier for them to do so.

"I share your frustration that there isn't a national infrastructure for the proper recycling of this product," says Wendy Reed, who manages EPA's Energy Star program. That programs gives the compact bulbs its "energy star" seal of approval.

She says that even though fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, using them contributes less mercury to the environment than using regular incandescent bulbs. That's because they use less electricity — and coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of mercury emissions in the air.

"The compact fluorescent light bulb is a product people can use to positively influence the environment to… prevent mercury emissions as well as greenhouse gas emissions. And it's something that we can do now — and it's extremely important that we do do it," Reed says. "And the positive message is, if you recycle them, if you dispose of them properly, then they're doing a world of good." "

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431198

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She says that even though fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, using them contributes less mercury to the environment than using regular incandescent bulbs. That's because they use less electricity — and coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of mercury emissions in the air.

True, but our energy supply is not dependent solely on coal fired plants. While I am sure there is a net benefit, the concern is (as the person quoted in the article notes) we don't have the landfill capacity to handle all that mercury that would be released intot he environment if the trend really caught on.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Mike S said...

Landiflls are designed for 10 year lifetimes. At any point in time we will "use up half the space in landfills" within 5 years. There are no good reasons not to use CFL. They look fine, fit in sockets and last for years.

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, my experience with the bulbs has not been as positive as those of others who have posted. Yes, they last, but they *do* cast a greenish glow with a flat quality. We use them in bathrooms, and for general lighting, but incandescents for bedside and side-tables - you know, the ones that for the "cozy" feeling that I just don't get with the others. I tried, but this is the best compromise for us right now.... Go green!

10:55 PM  
Blogger David said...

The biggest benefit is in lights which get left on a lot (like over Shabbat).

As most CFLs warm up, the light they give off becomes warmer too.

It is environmentally best to replace incandescent lamps when they burn out, rather than throwing out perfectly good incandescents.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous goyguy said...

I put them in fixtures where they fit (or don't look stupid) as the other bulbs burn out and I'm pretty happy. The ones I have take a few minutes to reach full brightness, but the light itself is fine.

11:57 PM  
Blogger mother in israel said...

I have been trying to get my husband to switch for years, but he claimed to hate fluorescent lighting. I have a few in inconspicuous places like the kids bedrooms and bathrooms. Recently I installed one in our bedroom and waited with trepidation for his response. "It's fine," he said. The new ones are much better, and those who don't like them should get a few different kinds and experiment.

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Al Gore said...

My wife and I are in the process of switching to fluorescent bulbs, mainly because we want to change bulbs less frequently.

2:34 AM  
Blogger tnspr569 said...

My parents have had them for years, and we have no complaints.

3:23 AM  
Blogger Binyamin said...

We recently discussed this issue at our Social Action Committee meeting. Our synagogue has made the switch to CFLs and we have started a campaign with our membership to encourage everyone to "Go Green" at home. I brought up the mercury issue (which most people were unaware of) and was promptly rewarded with heading the subcommittee on finding proper disposal methods. Obviously I attend a Conservative shul where everything goes to committee.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not throwing out good incandescent is a very good point. I saved the ones I replaced and plan on using them for places where CFLs don't make much sense, like closets.

BTW, a good place to buy them online is:

http://www.ecolightbulbs.org/

They are a volunteer organization and reliable. When one of mine burnt out a few days after installation, they shipped me a replacement at no cost.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed that no one bothered to comment on the "SUVs in every driveway", so I'll say it:
Why do you need a car that size? Do you car-pool? Do you have five kids? If you do, then a VAN would be more appropriate. In addition to wasting 3 to 5 gallons of gas per mile more I've yet to see a driver on the road who knows how to handle an SUV properly. It's a 5000lb leathal weapon falks. If you're going to buy it, first learn to drive it. A VAN drives like a car. It's move family oriented and environment friendly.
If you need a truck for work or you go off-roading, then get a true truck, I.E. Jeep, Range Rover, Dodge Durango, GMC. These Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans, Porchas, BMWs are not true trucks (with some exceptions), they are built on a raised framework of regular sedans. (If anyone cares to be more technical, be my guest.)
Get a VAN or a sedan, you'll be happier for it.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Scraps said...

Though we don't use them exclusively, my parents have had some CFL's in our house for years, to save on the energy bill.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We started making the switch four years ago, by attrition, and have had nothing but CF's for about the past year. During the time we did this, we also got our youngest two sons each their own computer as they entered middle school, because they now have homework demands for computer time. (Our oldest son already had one, he's in high school.) So we went from 3 computers to 5, with all their "stuff" on a home wireless network, and moved to a house with an electric stove (our old house had gas), and still our electric bill went down about 20% from four years ago. We absolutely attribute this to the lightbulbs. If we hadn't moved, I can imagine our bill would have gone way, way down, because I cook every meal at home.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS - there is absolutely nothing wrong with the quality of the light. In the lower level family room that has only one window, I bought very expensive "full-spectrum" CF bulbs for growing indoor plants, and they take about 60-90 seconds to come up to full lumination. But the regular CF bulbs are great and I would never switch back.

10:53 AM  
Blogger MoChassid said...

Why don't we just do what Al does. Waste as much energy as possible and buy "energy credits"?

11:52 AM  
Blogger Chumi Friedman said...

We have switched to CFL's in some of the rooms in our house. The lighting is great - we only had one room where for the first day the light seemed dull, other than that it has been a wonderful experience. The light is bright and they last much longer than regular bulbs.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Pepper Pike Democratic Club said...

My husband has switched us over in several rooms but not all. It's oh.kay. she said with a roll of her eyes. But I know we need to do it. :)

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

Yes, I am replacing burnt out bulbs with CFLS. And Yes, they do last longer.

My 2 children are bad with the recycling but I keep it up because I have noticed a lot less outright trash leaving my house and a lot more recycling (especially paper).

BTW, I am looking into getting solar panels for my home (flat roof, brick, historic row house) and found a place that will do all the installation, etc and you just RENT The panels yearly. You get credit for any energy you don't use that gets siphoned back to "the grid." So far the deal looks economical for a New York home that has a disabled mom (me) that needs the A/C just to function in the summer.

If you or Orthodad want to know more about the solar panel thing (or anyone else) drop me a line and I will dig up the website for you.
barbarany_9@hotmail.com

2:42 PM  
Blogger Treasure State Jew said...

I switched about two years ago (I am a FEIT distributor). The electric bill did go down, but not so much that it made up for the cost of the bulbs in 24 months, even with my discount.

Also, while the bulbs last a little bit longer, they certainly don't last forever. I have found that a bulb that would burn out every six months now lasts about 8-9 months.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Tzipporah said...

We use them in the kitchen and for our outdoor lights (motion-sensor lights on the driveway). Using incandecents outside just adds heat to the environment, as well as wasting energy.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Why don't we just do what Al does. Waste as much energy as possible and buy "energy credits"?

ROTFL!

In all seriousness, do CFL's work like fluorescents? Fluorescents can really bother people who suffer from migraines, due to the constant flicker (if you're light-sensitive).

7:15 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Why don't we just do what Al does. Waste as much energy as possible and buy "energy credits"?

ROTFL!

In all seriousness, do CFL's work like fluorescents? Fluorescents can really bother people who suffer from migraines, due to the constant flicker (if you're light-sensitive).

7:15 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Our entire house is lit by CFL's We had the changover about 3 years ago, when our electric company offered to come and replace all the bulbs and light fixtured for a minimal amount. I think we have almost half of our electricity bill, plus I've never once had to replace a bulb in years.

The lighting is fine. It's just as nice as ambient lighting, not blinky or a funny color at all. With lampshades that have some color, you get a lovely glow and man... it's just SO much better for the environment.

11:51 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

You could get a TerraPass for your car and your home, like I did.

May not be much but it makes me feel better.

OK that's really sickening of me isn't it? ;)

12:24 AM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

I've met one person in my entire life who needs an SUV: She lives at the end of a long dirt road on the top of a mountain in Vermont.

Think you need an SUV because you are concerned about snow? An all wheel drive passenger car like any Subaru will do just as well as an SUV -- and will be better in rain and less likely to tip over. Need carrying capacity for a large family or a business? Minivans are just as good if not better, and some are available in all wheel drive. Both use a lot less gasoline.

Almost all our imported oil comes from the anti-Semitic Arabs in the Middle East, or from the anti-Semitic dictator or Venezuela. It is in the interest of Jews everywhere to reduce the use of petroleum products.

The benefit to CFLs will mainly be in allowing less use of deadly (from pollution) coal fired power plants, which will have lives of those who live near them. It will also reduce the terrible environmental destruction associated with coal mining.

Check out http://www.canfeinesharim.org/ for Jewish perspectives on the environment.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Miriam said...

"Need carrying capacity for a large family or a business? Minivans are just as good if not better, and some are available in all wheel drive. Both use a lot less gasoline."

Oh, yeah? Find me a minivan that fits my "large family" (let's just say, more than 6 children), and I'll happily switch back! sigh. Not that I have an SUV... I drive a big van, (NOT a "mini"van) and I'm sure I waste more gas than an SUV does. Can't be helped, though, if I want to take them all with me.

Oh, and X-10 and similar technologies (basically timers that are computer and/or remote controlled to turn on and off lights for you) saved us a noticeable amount on our electric bill, after we set it up to turn off lights every half hour or so on weekdays, insuring that if you leave the room and forget, it will go off not too much later. Unfortunately, we're not supposed to use CFLs in those X-10 controlled locations, (or in a closed light fixture, and we have several of those) or we might save even more, although we do have a few of them in non-controlled, non-enclosed locations.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have a large family, of coarse you need a car capable of handling the load. But what about when you have only one or two kids and you're 5'4" and can barely see over the steering wheel? Why in the world would you need something that large if you are incapable of handling it? Every dent or scratch on my car was received while parked in the Five Towns simply because people here can't handle driving and parking such huge cars.
Oh, and while you're at it folks;
Why don't you watch where you're driving and stay off the cell phones while you're doing it! Check your blind spot when you pull out of parking and try to actually stop on a stop sign.
I thought driving in Manhattan was bad, but it's nothing comparing to driving on Central Ave.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, have witnessed disgusting behavior of seemingly religious women in the parking lot of GG. How about the young mother in the lexus who repeatedly honked at the 80 + year old woman slowly crossing the street? how about the yeshiva bocha who pulled out of the parking spot almost killing the baby in the stroller due to talking on his cell ( or perhaps he was praying). either way, the simple act of consideration for others is missing in our community.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"how about the yeshiva bocha who pulled out of the parking spot almost killing the baby in the stroller due to talking on his cell ( or perhaps he was praying)."

Yeah. Right. the yeshiva "bocha" who was praying while driving. talk about not living in reality. you are definitely an "us vs. them"-er. why don't you put it in a campaign ad for the "public school candidates"? those are just the tactics that help people rally against the orthos.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous nombody said...

Switched almost my whole house to the CFL's. And I agree with the popular mechanics review on the NVision Soft white bulbs. They also come in Bright White and Daylight if you prefer/need a different spectrum of light somewhere. You can get them cheapest in the 4 or 6 packs (sometimes you can find a 10 pack contractor box) at home depot.
The 14W (=60W incandescent) bulbs are the best. If you are replacing high-hat bulbs also go with the Nvision soft white, but those bulbs take about 10 seconds to warm up to their full brightness. When you first turn them on the light will appear a little dim until the bulb warms up.

For dimmable light fixtures, three way, or candelabra base fixtures, it is much harder and more expensive to find the right bulbs (you can find the 3-ways now much more often though).


If you have any light fixtures where the bulbs burn out frequently, that would be the best place to start, and in any fixtures that are left on for all of Shabbat.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

34 Comments Close this window Collapse comments
Anonymous said...
we're making the switch gradually, as bulbs burn out . . . we can't afford to do it all at once. so far, our room and the kids' room and bathrooms are all CFLed, but the living room, dining room, and basement are not yet there. The kitchen has regular fluorescent bulbs for many years.

8:01 PM


Anonymous said...
Two things to keep in mind. The generally available bulbs are quite unsightly and don't fit well into many kinds of sockets. More significantly, although the CFLs are energy efficient, they usualy contain mercury and other toxic substances. If consumers are not disposing of these bulbs properly (this requires sending them to special landfills)and more and more people make the switch, more and more mercury will wind up in our waterways and drinking water supply.

8:03 PM


Ezer K'negdo said...
We made the switch over the winter. We think it is just fine, although the bulbs are not that attractive, we have not noticed a huge difference in the lighting quality. Good luck!

8:05 PM


all switched up said...
Anon 8:03:
Re the mercury issue, it isn't as serious as you claim:

"The head of the Environmental Protection Agency program concedes that not enough has been done to urge people to recycle CFL bulbs and make it easier for them to do so.

"I share your frustration that there isn't a national infrastructure for the proper recycling of this product," says Wendy Reed, who manages EPA's Energy Star program. That programs gives the compact bulbs its "energy star" seal of approval.

She says that even though fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, using them contributes less mercury to the environment than using regular incandescent bulbs. That's because they use less electricity — and coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of mercury emissions in the air.

"The compact fluorescent light bulb is a product people can use to positively influence the environment to… prevent mercury emissions as well as greenhouse gas emissions. And it's something that we can do now — and it's extremely important that we do do it," Reed says. "And the positive message is, if you recycle them, if you dispose of them properly, then they're doing a world of good." "

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431198

8:08 PM


Anonymous said...
She says that even though fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, using them contributes less mercury to the environment than using regular incandescent bulbs. That's because they use less electricity — and coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of mercury emissions in the air.

True, but our energy supply is not dependent solely on coal fired plants. While I am sure there is a net benefit, the concern is (as the person quoted in the article notes) we don't have the landfill capacity to handle all that mercury that would be released intot he environment if the trend really caught on.

8:14 PM


Mike S said...
Landiflls are designed for 10 year lifetimes. At any point in time we will "use up half the space in landfills" within 5 years. There are no good reasons not to use CFL. They look fine, fit in sockets and last for years.

10:21 PM


Anonymous said...
Unfortunately, my experience with the bulbs has not been as positive as those of others who have posted. Yes, they last, but they *do* cast a greenish glow with a flat quality. We use them in bathrooms, and for general lighting, but incandescents for bedside and side-tables - you know, the ones that for the "cozy" feeling that I just don't get with the others. I tried, but this is the best compromise for us right now.... Go green!

10:55 PM


David said...
The biggest benefit is in lights which get left on a lot (like over Shabbat).

As most CFLs warm up, the light they give off becomes warmer too.

It is environmentally best to replace incandescent lamps when they burn out, rather than throwing out perfectly good incandescents.

11:38 PM


goyguy said...
I put them in fixtures where they fit (or don't look stupid) as the other bulbs burn out and I'm pretty happy. The ones I have take a few minutes to reach full brightness, but the light itself is fine.

11:57 PM


mother in israel said...
I have been trying to get my husband to switch for years, but he claimed to hate fluorescent lighting. I have a few in inconspicuous places like the kids bedrooms and bathrooms. Recently I installed one in our bedroom and waited with trepidation for his response. "It's fine," he said. The new ones are much better, and those who don't like them should get a few different kinds and experiment.

12:36 AM


Al Gore said...
My wife and I are in the process of switching to fluorescent bulbs, mainly because we want to change bulbs less frequently.

2:34 AM


tnspr569 said...
My parents have had them for years, and we have no complaints.

3:23 AM


Binyamin said...
We recently discussed this issue at our Social Action Committee meeting. Our synagogue has made the switch to CFLs and we have started a campaign with our membership to encourage everyone to "Go Green" at home. I brought up the mercury issue (which most people were unaware of) and was promptly rewarded with heading the subcommittee on finding proper disposal methods. Obviously I attend a Conservative shul where everything goes to committee.

8:38 AM


Anonymous said...
Not throwing out good incandescent is a very good point. I saved the ones I replaced and plan on using them for places where CFLs don't make much sense, like closets.

BTW, a good place to buy them online is:

http://www.ecolightbulbs.org/

They are a volunteer organization and reliable. When one of mine burnt out a few days after installation, they shipped me a replacement at no cost.

9:21 AM


Anonymous said...
I noticed that no one bothered to comment on the "SUVs in every driveway", so I'll say it:
Why do you need a car that size? Do you car-pool? Do you have five kids? If you do, then a VAN would be more appropriate. In addition to wasting 3 to 5 gallons of gas per mile more I've yet to see a driver on the road who knows how to handle an SUV properly. It's a 5000lb leathal weapon falks. If you're going to buy it, first learn to drive it. A VAN drives like a car. It's move family oriented and environment friendly.
If you need a truck for work or you go off-roading, then get a true truck, I.E. Jeep, Range Rover, Dodge Durango, GMC. These Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans, Porchas, BMWs are not true trucks (with some exceptions), they are built on a raised framework of regular sedans. (If anyone cares to be more technical, be my guest.)
Get a VAN or a sedan, you'll be happier for it.

9:28 AM


Scraps said...
Though we don't use them exclusively, my parents have had some CFL's in our house for years, to save on the energy bill.

10:50 AM


Anonymous said...
We started making the switch four years ago, by attrition, and have had nothing but CF's for about the past year. During the time we did this, we also got our youngest two sons each their own computer as they entered middle school, because they now have homework demands for computer time. (Our oldest son already had one, he's in high school.) So we went from 3 computers to 5, with all their "stuff" on a home wireless network, and moved to a house with an electric stove (our old house had gas), and still our electric bill went down about 20% from four years ago. We absolutely attribute this to the lightbulbs. If we hadn't moved, I can imagine our bill would have gone way, way down, because I cook every meal at home.

10:51 AM


Anonymous said...
PS - there is absolutely nothing wrong with the quality of the light. In the lower level family room that has only one window, I bought very expensive "full-spectrum" CF bulbs for growing indoor plants, and they take about 60-90 seconds to come up to full lumination. But the regular CF bulbs are great and I would never switch back.

10:53 AM


MoChassid said...
Why don't we just do what Al does. Waste as much energy as possible and buy "energy credits"?

11:52 AM


Chumi Friedman said...
We have switched to CFL's in some of the rooms in our house. The lighting is great - we only had one room where for the first day the light seemed dull, other than that it has been a wonderful experience. The light is bright and they last much longer than regular bulbs.

12:22 PM


Pepper Pike Democratic Club said...
My husband has switched us over in several rooms but not all. It's oh.kay. she said with a roll of her eyes. But I know we need to do it. :)

12:22 PM


Barbara said...
Yes, I am replacing burnt out bulbs with CFLS. And Yes, they do last longer.

My 2 children are bad with the recycling but I keep it up because I have noticed a lot less outright trash leaving my house and a lot more recycling (especially paper).

BTW, I am looking into getting solar panels for my home (flat roof, brick, historic row house) and found a place that will do all the installation, etc and you just RENT The panels yearly. You get credit for any energy you don't use that gets siphoned back to "the grid." So far the deal looks economical for a New York home that has a disabled mom (me) that needs the A/C just to function in the summer.

If you or Orthodad want to know more about the solar panel thing (or anyone else) drop me a line and I will dig up the website for you.
barbarany_9@hotmail.com

2:42 PM


Treasure State Jew said...
I switched about two years ago (I am a FEIT distributor). The electric bill did go down, but not so much that it made up for the cost of the bulbs in 24 months, even with my discount.

Also, while the bulbs last a little bit longer, they certainly don't last forever. I have found that a bulb that would burn out every six months now lasts about 8-9 months.

4:09 PM


Tzipporah said...
We use them in the kitchen and for our outdoor lights (motion-sensor lights on the driveway). Using incandecents outside just adds heat to the environment, as well as wasting energy.

6:19 PM


Ezzie said...
Why don't we just do what Al does. Waste as much energy as possible and buy "energy credits"?

ROTFL!

In all seriousness, do CFL's work like fluorescents? Fluorescents can really bother people who suffer from migraines, due to the constant flicker (if you're light-sensitive).

7:15 PM


Ezzie said...
Why don't we just do what Al does. Waste as much energy as possible and buy "energy credits"?

ROTFL!

In all seriousness, do CFL's work like fluorescents? Fluorescents can really bother people who suffer from migraines, due to the constant flicker (if you're light-sensitive).

7:15 PM


margalit said...
Our entire house is lit by CFL's We had the changover about 3 years ago, when our electric company offered to come and replace all the bulbs and light fixtured for a minimal amount. I think we have almost half of our electricity bill, plus I've never once had to replace a bulb in years.

The lighting is fine. It's just as nice as ambient lighting, not blinky or a funny color at all. With lampshades that have some color, you get a lovely glow and man... it's just SO much better for the environment.

11:51 PM


Barbara said...
You could get a TerraPass for your car and your home, like I did.

May not be much but it makes me feel better.

OK that's really sickening of me isn't it? ;)

12:24 AM


Charlie Hall said...
I've met one person in my entire life who needs an SUV: She lives at the end of a long dirt road on the top of a mountain in Vermont.

Think you need an SUV because you are concerned about snow? An all wheel drive passenger car like any Subaru will do just as well as an SUV -- and will be better in rain and less likely to tip over. Need carrying capacity for a large family or a business? Minivans are just as good if not better, and some are available in all wheel drive. Both use a lot less gasoline.

Almost all our imported oil comes from the anti-Semitic Arabs in the Middle East, or from the anti-Semitic dictator or Venezuela. It is in the interest of Jews everywhere to reduce the use of petroleum products.

The benefit to CFLs will mainly be in allowing less use of deadly (from pollution) coal fired power plants, which will have lives of those who live near them. It will also reduce the terrible environmental destruction associated with coal mining.

Check out http://www.canfeinesharim.org/ for Jewish perspectives on the environment.

3:49 PM


Miriam said...
"Need carrying capacity for a large family or a business? Minivans are just as good if not better, and some are available in all wheel drive. Both use a lot less gasoline."

Oh, yeah? Find me a minivan that fits my "large family" (let's just say, more than 6 children), and I'll happily switch back! sigh. Not that I have an SUV... I drive a big van, (NOT a "mini"van) and I'm sure I waste more gas than an SUV does. Can't be helped, though, if I want to take them all with me.

Oh, and X-10 and similar technologies (basically timers that are computer and/or remote controlled to turn on and off lights for you) saved us a noticeable amount on our electric bill, after we set it up to turn off lights every half hour or so on weekdays, insuring that if you leave the room and forget, it will go off not too much later. Unfortunately, we're not supposed to use CFLs in those X-10 controlled locations, (or in a closed light fixture, and we have several of those) or we might save even more, although we do have a few of them in non-controlled, non-enclosed locations.

7:59 PM


Anonymous said...
If you have a large family, of coarse you need a car capable of handling the load. But what about when you have only one or two kids and you're 5'4" and can barely see over the steering wheel? Why in the world would you need something that large if you are incapable of handling it? Every dent or scratch on my car was received while parked in the Five Towns simply because people here can't handle driving and parking such huge cars.
Oh, and while you're at it folks;
Why don't you watch where you're driving and stay off the cell phones while you're doing it! Check your blind spot when you pull out of parking and try to actually stop on a stop sign.
I thought driving in Manhattan was bad, but it's nothing comparing to driving on Central Ave.

7:38 AM


Anonymous said...
I, too, have witnessed disgusting behavior of seemingly religious women in the parking lot of GG. How about the young mother in the lexus who repeatedly honked at the 80 + year old woman slowly crossing the street? how about the yeshiva bocha who pulled out of the parking spot almost killing the baby in the stroller due to talking on his cell ( or perhaps he was praying). either way, the simple act of consideration for others is missing in our community.

8:51 AM


Anonymous said...
"how about the yeshiva bocha who pulled out of the parking spot almost killing the baby in the stroller due to talking on his cell ( or perhaps he was praying)."

Yeah. Right. the yeshiva "bocha" who was praying while driving. "talk about not living in reality. you are definitely an "us vs. them"-er. why don't you put it in a campaign ad for the "public school candidates"? those are just the tactics that help people rally against the orthos.

8:58 AM


I am orthodox, for your info. i just happen to have been brought up to respect all individuals ( even non-jews).. unlike my fellow orthodoxy here in cedarhurst, I do not believe the world owes us any special considerations.. grow up. miriam ( a psychologist)

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do find it distressing that there is so little apparent concern for environment within the community. The use of disposable dishes, all the extra plastic liners, the throwaway baking pans all really are too much. We say kashrut makes us do all this, but it's really convenience. Think of it as a challenge: observance and hospitality without creating as much of an impact on the environment.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've switched to CFLs throughout the house over the past couple of years as regular bulbs have burned out. I've noticed no difference in the quality of light, and there's none of that annoying flickering or hum of old-style fluorescents. The only downside I've noticed is that the CFLs take a minute or so to reach full brightness when they're turned on. Between the elecricity savings and the need to buy new bulbs less often, the higher price of the CFLs is totally worthwhile (especially if you can find them a bit cheaper at a place like Costco, or when LIPA happens to be giving a rebate).

BTW, the best place to start replacing is high hats, partly because those CFLs look almost exactly like traditional bulbs, and also because traditional high hats tend to be very high wattage and so will give you greater energy savings.

As for the SUVs, I'm interested to hear which minivans get better gas mileage than SUVs. Thanks to their size and weight, most minivans' gas mileage is just as bad as any SUV. The difference is perception - people assume that anyone who drives a minivan needs one, while anyone who drives an SUV doesn't really need one. Families with only one or two kids who drive minivans are just as guilty of guzzling gas unnecessarily as the unnecessary SUV owners.

Further, many newer SUVs (particularly Japanese models) get 20mpg or better. I bought my SUV because it gets as good or better mileage than most family sedans. (And yes, I actually use the cargo space - frequently).

People not knowing how to drive, well, that's another issue entirely...

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