This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

Choose the Smartest Bulb From the CFL Pack

EWGs argument is that if a few bulbs can go that low, so can they all. But I'm not losing sleep over whether the CFLs in my house contain enough mercury to cover all of a ballpoint pen tip, or just half of one.

For one thing, the power plant pumping out the electricity to power that bulb is releasing way more mercury into our air and water (and fish) than any household could if it broke open its lightbulbs with abandon, and by using lightbulbs that use a quarter of the energy of regular bulbs, you're putting a dent in that.

Moreover, the mercury isn't a problem as long as the bulb stays in tact. Should you break one, the EPA lists on its Web site some extremely alarming instructions for how to clean up mercury. (Vacuuming, it seems, is a big no-no).

The mercury means these are considered hazardous waste and you should not blithely throw them into your household trash. But Ikea and Home Depot both take bulbs for recycling. Recycling Web site Earth911 can steer you to other local stores and recycling centers that take them. Meanwhile, the EPA keeps a state-by-state list of hazardous waste collection sites.

For me, the mercury issue is a lot of unnecessary kerfuffle. In terms of human and environmental health, the far more serious concern is mercury from power plants, industrial processes like metal production and products like car batteries. Moreover, the energy savings makes overwhelming financial and eco sense.

If you're among those who still need to be convinced that CFLs are worth the switch, the EWG offers a calculator that shows you how much money you would save by switching to CFLs or halogens, depending on how many bulbs you replace, how many hours a day you use them and where you live.

3 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SI $0.00 0.00%
AMZN $380.09 -2.00%
HD $114.45 -1.26%
GE $25.42 -1.55%
LOW $73.51 -1.41%


DOW 17,856.78 -278.94 -1.54%
S&P 500 2,071.26 -29.78 -1.42%
NASDAQ 4,927.37 -55.4390 -1.11%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs