What are some of my pet peeves? They are as follows: People who urinate on the toilet seats and don’t clean up after themselves, CFLs recycling, people who do not call you back, and plastic pots recycling. Okay, 2 green pet peeves and 2 annoying pet peeves. Well, one pet peeve might be going by the wayside, since Home Depot announced at the end of June that they will be taking back expired and UNBROKEN CFLs. Thanks to Beth of Fake Plastic Fish, who alerted me to an article on Tiny Choices, I now need to find another pet peeve to rant about. Like, I don’t have enough to do, Beth?
According to Home Depot’s press release, all of their stores will be offering free CFL recycling. Although Ikea offers free CFL recycling, driving to one of their stores may not be convenient.
So, how did this become a pet peeve of mine? A year ago I attended LightFair NYC where the newest advances in both LED and fluorescent technologies were featured. During the exhibit, I had a chance to speak at length with a representative of SLI Lighting who opened my eyes to the fact that CFLs were being pushed but no one was taking any responsibility to recycle the expired light bulbs.
Where were all those expired CFLs going to go? In the trash, and then to your neighborhood landfill, wherever that might be. Eventually all the mercury in the light bulbs would leach into our ground water. Not a pretty picture.
This discussion prompted me to write an article questioning whether where we as a society were moving too fast to embrace the CFL movement without looking at the consequences of disposal of light bulbs with mercury in our landfills. If I recall correctly wasn’t both Home Depot and Wal-Mart pushing the sales of these CFLs? Shouldn’t they be responsible to take them back?
I was so miffed that I decide to do something about it. I called (a couple of times) all the vice presidents of sustainability at Lowes, Home Depot and Wal-Mart. Of course, no one called me back except the VP at Lowes. So kudos to Home Depot for stepping forward and being the first giant to take back CFLs.
I wondered what Wal-Mart’s response will be regarding Home Depot’s decision. Now, when you drop off your CFL, you are more apt to buy a new one from who else? HOME DEPOT! So, hopefully for the love of profits, both Lowes and Wal-Mart will follow suit. They would be crazy not to. Now, you have no excuse to recycle your CFL.
By the way, I sent an email to Wal-Mart’s sustainable PR director to get an answer whether Wal-Mart will be following Home Depot’s recycling efforts. I will keep you posted.
So do you have a pet peeve eco or not?
- LIGHTFAIR 2007-With More Fluorescent Technology, Is Our Quest for Energy Efficiency Short Sighted?
- EcoSmart LEDs at Home Depot. Bringing Affordable LEDs to the Main Stream
- Home Depot BP Solar Partnership. No Installation Deals here.
- EcoSmart LED Reveal and Giveaway. Move that Bus!
- Garden Hoses, Lead & BPA. Preventable Measures to Keep You Safe