I'm Opposed to Eco-Friendly Lightbulbs

CFLHello, my name is Megan and I. HATE. CFLs.

Hate them. With a passion you cannot imagine. I don’t even care that it’s completely (mostly) irrational and environmentally irresponsible. Call me the Anti-Green, I don’t care. I’ll just recycle more bottles to make up for my bad carbon lighting footprint.

Can you imagine the horror I felt when I moved in with my then-boyfriend only to discover that he’d replaced every single bulb in the house with those ugly, ucky CFLs (compact fluorescent lights)? It was only out of respect for the money he’d spent that I didn’t change them all back.

But I wanted to. Badly.

I still want to, every time I look up at the ceiling fan and see them sticking out of the shades. I just want to take a stick and poke them, so they’ll break and I can replace them with conventional bulbs.

Why do I hate them so much?

Why, thank you so much for asking. I’ll be glad to enlighten you on the topic.


They are fugly. I don’t mind admitting I’m a form-before-function kind of girl. If it’s not aesthetically pleasing to me, I don’t want it anywhere near me. (Case in point: It’s killing me right now to be writing this in sight of the ugly, cheap CD shelves we have.) The spiral CFLs stick out abnormally far in any sort of hanging lamp, like on a ceiling fan with a lamp. Ours stick out more than an inch. NOT okay with me. Plus, I just like the old-school round shape better.

They don’t ting. I love tinging my fingernail against a conventional bulb and hearing that little vibration. And then doing it again when the bulb burns out and not hearing the vibrating tone. It’s more satisfying than popping a monster blackhead. CFLs have robbed me of this simple pleasure.

They burn out. At least half the bulbs we have burnt out in under a month. Aren’t these things supposed to last forever? At $20 a bulb they damn well better.

I just don’t care. You cannot possibly convince me that the 20 cents I’m going to save every month (you know, that $70 over the lifetime of a bulb) makes any difference to anything. Or that my bulbs are saving the oceans. If I absolutely must, the WWF can have that money and we can save the world that way. I’ll even give them $100, just let me have my old bulbs back!

Mercury. As if there needs to be any other reason. I have 20 bulbs in my home right now, full of mercury. The poisonous, make you sick and kill you kind of mercury. The next time I get the dropsies and let loose a CFL, not only am I (and my family) at risk for illness, but I have to pay thousands for a special HAZMAT team to clean up the mess. Now imagine 100,000 of those in the landfill, or ocean, or wherever, getting crushed by waves or other garbage. Yeah. That’s mercury everywhere. There’s a reason we did away with those thermometers, you know.


Image via Megan Van Schaick/Silver and Chalk

Read More >