Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Green Energy Light Bulbs...GE Energy Smart

I am writing in red because I am extremely upset with GE's energy smart compact flourescent light bulbs that right on the box states, 'Lasts 5 years*.'
I want to know if any of you are using these bulbs and what you success or disappointments have been? Leave comments so GE can see what consumers think of these.
As for me, I am extremely disappointed, upset, hacked off and feel I am wasting more money, time and energy in purchasing them by the boxful and having them recycled by the box full.
According to an article I read, many states/counties/municipalities are charging the cost to recycle these bulbs to the consumer, so not only are we paying $12.84 per box, then we are paying $4.20 per box to have them recycled. So the cost per box has gone up to $17.04 so we are paying $2.84 per bulb. Which if they lasted for a year or even five as they claim, I would shut-up and not say a word, but in our home, these bulbs burn out almost faster than we can replace them.
We do not have electrical spikes, we have had the voltage checked at our bulb outlets and nothing is wrong. However, I can put in a regular incandesent bulb and they last for years, don't contain mercury and I don't have to save them up for the hazmat collections a few times a year.
I have heard and read that if we purchase the CFL's manufactured in Canada instead of those manufactured in China, they will last longer. My opinion is PROVE IT!! That is, if you can find one bulb manufactured in Canada, because my husband and I haven't been able to find any that are not manufactured in China. We have checked Home Depot/Real ood/WalMart/Safeway/Dennis Company and all the bulbs they stock are made in China. But I can purchase an incandesent that last longer and is made in the USA.
My personal opinion is that we have bought into a huge bag of bull! We all want to protect the planet, we all know how important it is to recycle and reuse and most of us do it just in our quilting and crafting alone. But I am beginning to believe that sometimes we are to gullible as consumers and buy into all these save the planet scares and we aren't helping at all.
We don't use mercury thermometers anymore because they are dangerous, but we have no problem replacing all of our light bulbs with CFL's that have Mercury in them. We are told if we break one, to open a window, use gloves to sweep it up and pack it and save it for hazmat disposal. SAY WHAT??
It is also stated that if these bulbs last as long as they claim to last, there is very little if any mercury left inside of them. But what about if they burn out within a few short weeks of replacing them, how much Mercury is left in them?
I want to do my part for the ozone, for the planet, for those that will come after me, but I do not at this time believe these bulbs are as good as the claims for them are. I also know that many many years ago our planet went from the ice age to a huge melting of the ice and guess what? There were no cars, no planes, no billions of people on this planet and it warmed up and melted all on its own and please don't tell me it was caused by to many dinosaur farts!
I have now started keeping my boxes of bulbs, the receipt and am beginning to use a Sharpie to write the date the light bulb gets replaced and GE will be sent back the box, receipt and bulbs very carefully packaged according to their recyling guidelines. And in the meantime?
I will go back to the old bulbs, date their replacement and see if I am really contributing to changing the planet or if I am making more work for those places that recycle CFL's. After all, they also use some type of energy to dispose of these.
You can go to Real Goods and purchase CFL's for between $4.00 - $22.00 per bulb and guess what? They are also made in China. I am not saying it is China's fault these are faulty, I am saying perhaps we need to require more proof they are worth the disposal costs.
Whats next? Expecting us to paint our roofs all white?

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