Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Two Minutes Hate

"Green" TV shows annoy me. You know the home improvement shows that show you how to be more eco-friendly and hopefully save money in the long run. I actually think this is a great thing and am working on becoming more eco-friendly myself. I am starting to recycle more (although I am still not sure if this really helps - see Penn & Tellers Bullshit episode about this), use rechargeable batteries, and I replace my light bulbs with compact fluorescents as needed. But that is the key "As needed". These "Green" shows always come in and say "You need to replace all your bulbs." I don't see how replacing all your light bulbs right away is any help to the planet. Seems to me that a lot of energy and materials went into making those bulbs just to toss them out. I just don't know if the materials and energy that went into the original bulbs is offset by the energy saved by the new bulbs. I think it would take a while to make up that difference.

The whole thing reminds me of something hetero life-pal CT joked when gas finally dropped in price last summer: "I just got gas a couple days ago, I drove around to get rid of all my old, expensive gas so I could fill up with the cheap stuff." Throwing something out that works just to get replace it with something that works a little better seems wasteful to me. Sure if you double your MPGs on a car, that would make a big difference...but a light bulb that is maybe on in my house an hour a day or even a week?

Another example - the Wal-Mart commercial that talks about how many trees can be saved if every Wal-Mart customer bought a little portable carpet cleaner instead of using paper towels. Sure but what about all the components that go into making this plastic cleaner. Paper towels will biodegrade much faster than this portable cleaner. I just don't know if everyone bought one if it would really be a net plus for earth...now if they were promoting reusable cloth towels instead of paper towels, I could get behind that. This just seemed too much of a jump in logic.

End Hate

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