So I have had all of my CFLs and LED bulbs do 3 things.
1. Not last as long as claimed
2. Cost a lot more than regular light bulbs, oh and
3. All are made in China. Making getting them here in the first place very resource intensive. Then again I live in a state that wants to send coal to China. Probably strategically the stupidest thing any country can do is export its natural resources to help their competitors make jobs in another country, but hey at least some already very wealthy people will become even wealthier by screwing over average Americans… again. Seems to be our way lately after all.
Anyway, I try to avoid buying Chinese made products whenever possible. Guess I’m just old fashioned in my belief that we should provide other Americans with jobs and not support companies that sleep workers 4 to a room and work them 6 twelve hour days a week in China. Many magazines have released articles in recent years about the huge losses of electricity that we see simply in transmitting electricity across our antiquated electrical grid. The average seems to be about 7% with older parts of the grid being much higher. Sure LED bulbs make us feel good, like we’re actually doing something, and they do use less electricity than older incandescent bulbs, but if you actually do the calculations on them, and include the energy involved in shipping them here, getting them to your store, getting them home, and initial manufacturing, you’ll find that they have to last their claimed 30,000 hours of operation just to negate the energy used to make them and get them to you. So they’re not really environmentally sound either. They just put less of a demand on the old grid, keeping your power company from having to upgrade the grid. Let’s look at this from another point of view. Like how much energy you’re paying for that you just are throwing away thanks to inefficient transmission. The average electrical usage in the US is about 1,000 kWh per month. That means that 70 kWh are pretty much just thrown away. So in other terms that means that a 5 watt LED bulb uses .005 kWh per day and can run for 14,000 hours just on the electricity you are made to throw away every month. Of course your bulb will never last that long because the busted up old grid will certainly experience events that damage your equipment like power outages causing surges and other things that destroy transformers in your shitty, Chinese made bulbs, that weren’t even built with that in mind. Let’s also consider that we don’t really know the failure rate in producing the bulbs to start with. Some have claimed it’s as high as 50%. I’m sure like most electronics it’s at least 10%. I wrote before about how an average vehicle in the US uses about a 900 year supply of plastic bags up in an average year of driving. So what do LED bulbs and plastic bag bans have in common? They are feel good Green Marketing ideas that environmentalists can push on us to make us feel like we’re making a difference, and help perpetuate the unsustainable system of consumerism that we currently “enjoy” but the truth is that we still use way too many resources and need large scale action now to make a difference and the solution doesn’t lie just in blindly buying whatever shit some celebrity environmentalist backs up. Yes little things add up, but a false sense of security can make us even more wasteful. The explosion in the popularity of single use soda bottles is a good example of this. People recycle now, so they pretty much use as many containers as they feel like, but the truth is only about 30% of what you recycle actually gets recycled, and no matter how little electricity you use at home or reusable bags your take to the store these are insignificant when compared with the amounts we could be saving by just holding our companies accountable, demanding more modern equipment be installed and materials used in manufacturing, and supporting your local communities by buying products from a country that is close to your own with actually reasonable controls on manufacturing. Like you know, America or even Canada. Think about this the next time you’re buying your peas from France, shrimp from Thailand, and individually wrapped cucumbers with the other “environmentalists” while on your way to a back country ski trip in your 4X4, while towing a snowmobile, at Trader Joe’s. But at least you brought your reusable bag. Oh yeah, and why is it that almost all of the people that claim to be environmentalists shop at Trader Joe’s in my town? Your peas come from France you fucking retards, and we live on the West Coast. How can that be environmentally sound? Also, we produce lots of peas in the US so why are you buying them from France? I have nothing against the French, I just wonder what lies you tell yourself to make this ok, before you preach to everyone else about how wasteful they are.