Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Nixon, tea, and lightbulbs

Believe it or not, I have a formula for when I blog. I put my blogger hat on and blog something. Then I put my editor hat on and edit. Sometimes I edit the whole thing and then I have nothing. Yesterday I started to write about President's day and it morphed into why I thought it was a mistake for Ford to pardon Nixon.

Everyone is writing about coffee. I've enjoyed what wordpecker wrote and also diane/ thoughtspot. (both on the sidebar) I usually only drink one cup of coffee in the morning. I've only been to a Starbucks once for coffee and that was a long time ago in Seattle. I did buy myself some beans to grind at home a while back, and I did get some iced tea once last summer at one. Here at work everyone is drinking tea. Well not everyone, but several of the office people are. Someone brought in this Lipton Bavarian Wild Berry black tea. I don't know much about tea but this smells really good. Now everyone has it. It's flying off of the shelf here at Safeway. $2.50 for 20 tea bags.

I have another thing on my mind today. These little fluorescent energy saving light bulbs. The little curly bulbs. I got tired having regular light bulbs burn out all of the time so I bought a package of four of these. Well one of them burned out the moment I turned it on, so now I have to take it back. Then I found out that these bulbs contain mercury and should be recycled and not just thrown away. I'm pretty sure if I just take it back they will just throw it away. There is only one store that has taken responsibility for the bulbs that they sell in Washington and that is Ikea. Now I'm thinking that perhaps these things aren't such a great idea after all. I guess there is only one place in the state to recycle them. I need to look into this more.


I heard on the radio after work that Austrailia will get rid of regular incandescent bulbs in favor of these little compact fluorescent bulbs to go green. California might be soon to follow. There was no mention of the disposal issue however. It clearly states on the package of these bulbs that they contain mercury and need to be disposed of in accordance with local, state and federal laws. You can go to lamprecycle.org
and see how confusing it is.

What it comes down to, at least in Washington state, is that you can dispose of houshold bulbs in the trash. But the bulbs will break and the mercury will come out. I'm thinking if everyone uses these bulbs things will need to change as far as just throwing them out in the trash goes. I know that companies must pay to recycle these fluorescent bulbs now and it is expensive. Plus I don't really trust the contractors who provide this service. So this technology might not be the answer.


Diane said...

I like some of Lipton's flavored teas. Their vanilla one is good, especially with some raw sugar. I like all teas, though, from green tea to black tea, to jasmine and oolong. But I do drink a lot of coffee. And I waste more money at Starbucks than I care to admit (although sometimes my friend will pay for me, I think to be a gentleman and I think also to keep the door open if he ever wants to date me some day).

I've thought about getting those special new light bulbs. Do you really save money on your electric bill?

In another life I'm an author (I've obviously had too much caffeine today) - I'm currently working on a short story that involves, among other things, a dystopia where all children who are born have autism, which turns out to be Nature's way of getting back at the human species for poisoning itself with man-made chemicals. I usually don't have such a hippie message in my fiction, but it's a great story idea. Your last line - on how new technology might not be the answer - is similar to what I wanted to convey in my story. (See! I had a point!)

don said...

Those light bulbs are supposed to use only a quarter to a third of the power of a regular bulb. The thing I don't like about them other than the disposal issue is when you turn them on they warm up. They aren't bright at first, and sometimes that is inconvenient.

The book sounds cool!

The Wordpecker said...

OK-here's a confession. When I was looking for a job a few months ago, I found a contract position in the paper. Somebody to distribute CFL bulbs in the neighbourhood. When I read it I was thinking Canadian Football League not compact fluorescent. I envisioned front porch lights with Canadian football team logos and thought - How Tacky! Needless to say, I didn't send in a resume. After all, who the heck wants a Blue Bombers LightBulb???

Clearly not enough coffee that morning!

don said...

Wordpecker, are they just handing out CFL bubls up there? Or did people have to buy them?

I think you landed a good job. I really enjoyed your recent post about work. I wish I could write about my job and the people and situations but it just isn't possible.

I've often thought about making a documentary film at work but that also isn't possible.

The Wordpecker said...

Yup -- giving them away. Handing them out in the populated suburbs.

Well...the awful truth is that the bulbs are likely bought with money from a government-funded grant (Operation Spend Canadian Taxpayers' Money) which means that we're all paying for them. What's more, we're also paying somebody $12 and hour to deliver them to us in the middle of dinner. :)