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Green Architecture
Are low consumption fluorescent light bulbs really ecological?
By Oliver Von der Weid

The electrical company “ICE” and the Costarrican government are actively promoting the use of fluorescent light bulbs as a way to help the planet and lower your electric bill. But all fluorescent light are filled with a gas containing low-pressure mercury vapor and if they are not disposed adequately, they can pollute the environment.

Generally fluorescent lamps are four to five times more efficient than incandescent bulbs. They reduce the need for power plants to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity, thereby reducing emissions including mercury, carbon dioxide and other pollutants that contribute to climate change. However, fluorescent lamps contain small amounts of mercury. This mercury is contained within the lamp and is not exposed to the environment unless the lamp is broken at the end of its life. The release of mercury is most likely to occur when the lamp is thrown in a garbage truck or a dumpster.

According to www.lightbulbrecycling.com, each year an estimated 600 million fluorescent lamps are disposed of in U.S. landfills, amounting to 30,000 pounds of mercury waste.

It only takes 4mg of mercury to contaminate up to 7,000 gallons of freshwater, meaning that the 30,000 pounds of mercury thrown away in compact fluorescent light bulbs each year is enough to pollute nearly every lake, pond, river and stream in North America (not to mention the oceans).

Costa Rica has an enormous problem with garbage disposal at every stage of the process. Most of the garbage goes to open air landfills with no regard to what is inside the garbage bags.

Fortunately, consumers no longer have to bring mercury into their homes through the use of fluorescent lights. There are now sensible alternatives. One of the most eco-friendly options is LED light bulbs which are not only mercury free, they’re also 300% more energy efficient than fluorescent lights.

One great advantage about LEDs is that they are difficult to damage with external shock. Fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, are easily broken if dropped on the ground. LED lights contain absolutely no mercury or toxic chemicals, and conventional LEDs are made from a variety of inorganic semiconductor materials. They don’t generate RF wavelengths that cause radio interference, or emit ultraviolet (UV) light – so LEDs will not readily attract bugs and other insects.

For all these very good reasons and to contribute to saving the Earth, when you need to replace a light bulb in your house, chose a LED light bulb. All together we can make a difference and at least keep Nosara’s rivers and ocean clean.

LED lights can be purchased at Pricesmart in San Jose.


More Nature News

Recycling can be very easy! Here are some basic steps on how to do it

Recycling is something that everyone can do with the right information. The Voice of Nosara as well as many other people want to make recycling easier in the area. By following a few simple guidelines everyone can be doing their part to help out. More >

Nosara Wildlife Wants Your Home!

As anyone can guess, running a large organization to treat injured and/or orphaned wild animals and return them back into the wild, takes a lot of time, dedication,and....money.
Several local homeowners have decided to help support this effort by donating the commission on the sale of their home to Nosara Wildlife. Bill and Nancy Kanz and Dan Ray have both said that if Nosara Wildlife brings them a buyer, the commission on the sale will go directly to Nosara Wildlife!

This is a wonderful opportunity for the seller to help make a difference in the Nosara Community by supporting the efforts of Nosara Wildlife in addition to preserving its wildlife. We're looking for more home owners who are selling their homes (or lots!) to consider this program. After all, you will be getting more exposure for your home at no extra cost to you!

Please visit: www.nosarawildlife.com to see the Kanz' and "DRay's" homes. We'd love to include yours! Please contact Steve or Vicki Coan if you would like to join our program and help make a difference!

CONTACT: 2682.1474, 8866.4652, [email protected]


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