Saturday, February 9, 2008

Eco Silliness

from the Washington Post On-line

Okay, I'm going to do a little dance on a soap box......

Enough already with trying to sell the environ
ment through minutia. Green has become the marketing gimmick for the first of the 21 century, and in my mind's eye it has become somewhat akin to the selling of snake oil.

Instead of looking at problems from big brain perspectives, all these new "gimmicks" are being developed so us mere consumer mortals can now spend without guilt of harming the earth.

In the end, though, problems only shift rather than being rectified.

I'm all for sustainable development and responsible living... BUT ENO
UGH IS ENOUGH !!! I'm no eco freak, but neither am I a consumer with no brains. This is all becoming very mad in certain respects.

I'll give you two points that I've encountered recently, which is making me suspect that we are on a bit of a circus ride.

1. Several months ago Steve had a post about exactly this. I added comment observing another marketing ploy - these new florescent bulbs that the "powers that be" are really trying to make us buy into; via cash rebates, guilt trips and perhaps even legislation eventually. Its nonsense. Maybe they reduce the carbon load, and ultimately reduce home electrical demands, but they are all packaged in an excess of plastic packaging, unlike the "old unfriendly" bulbs, which are usually packaged in paper/cardboard cartons that are recyclable. Perhaps the plastic is recyclable, but the packaging still is overkill.

I bought a couple of these bulbs a few months ago to experiment with. I have one lamp in the house that is on a number of hours a day. Its on a timer, which is not to be used with these types of bulbs, but I thought I'd try anyways. Well I didn't get my bulb life out of that one. The ballast blew.

Guess what ? These bulbs are using old ballast technology, hence why you can't use them for timers or dimmer switches. So now I have hazardous waste to be rid of - mercury ya' know and now what the heck do I do with it? Save it until I've saved enough hazmat to take it to some specialized dump somewhere, etc.,etc., or do I just dump it in the old landfill site where eventually everyones "onesies and twosies" will accumulate until....... ?

The average household really does not accumulate enough hazardous waste in any given period that can be disposed of efficiently, effectively and via the proper channels (doing so would be so prohibitive in cost & many cities that I know of, very seldom hold "HazMat" disposal days anymore. Like I want to sit with HazMat in my home for a year. Imagine the apartment dwellers ?).

What about timers ? They too have a use for energy reduction - but it seems these two technologies aren't meshing. Will they ever ? So ixnay useray my timer and fluoro light together.

2. I had to buy baking soda yesterday. I wanted to get 1kg of it. I had a choice: two 0.5 kg boxes of the "plain jane" yellow box, minimalist printing, generic PC brand at $0.99 each or a 1kg of the PC GREEN baking soda ( great for all household cleaning - never use harsh chemicals again - so the box says. If not directly, it intimated the thought) brand at $1.99.

Okay, this might be a really stupid point but, do they really think that I am going to buy a box at $1.99 versus two boxes that total $1.98 ? They both have the same product, made the same way, and both use the same amount of packaging for the same amount of product.

One cent over several thousand purchases across the country...........

Fidel found an interesting point in "Energy Victory" by Robert Zubrin. To meet the energy requirements of the USA via methanol for 1/3rd of A DAY (using corn ), the US's entire arable land would have to be used to grow the crop required. So now what about food ?

I haven't read the book and am taking this factoid largely out of context of what the book is about (depending on how you look at the factoid). The point I am making with this & which the book also makes, is a need to rethink our energy strategies - outside of the box versus what is thought of " as the gold standard" today.

Okay - the rant is over.

Gotta blog more and fast.. that Barbie pink is killing me. I used to like going to Toys R Us.... just to experience visual torture via going down the Barbie aisles......


Robert said...

I am begining to think that a lot of so called green products are just marketing ploys..

MedStudentWife said...

I agree with you Robert !!