I watch the news. I saw An Inconvenient Truth. I know about global warming. I understand that I am a renter on planet earth and I want to be a good tenant. I’m trying to do my part to leave these digs in good shape for the next tenants. Also, whenever I vacate these premises, I hope to impress the landlord enough to ensure a room with a good view in that mansion I’ve heard so much about (preferably overlooking the beach).
Just call me Cinderella; trying to squeeze my size 8 carbon footprint into a size 5 recycled glass slipper. I dutifully decline paper or plastic at the market; in favor of the tote bags I’ve collected from every job fair, conference or convention I’ve attended. I don’t take offense when the cashier gives me the evil eye as I roll a dozen oranges towards her on the checkout conveyor belt. I understand that she would prefer me to corral my produce in a plastic bag, but oranges, potatoes and bananas are already well packaged by nature. I refuse to double bag. Also, on the mornings I’m feeling particularly monastic, I modify my morning ablutions. Instead of an extravagant baptismal soak; I opt for a christening. I do the wet, lather, rinse routine; turning the shower faucet off between each cycle.
I’m doing okay in most areas of conservation; except for one; my electricity consumption. Every pamphlet, article and public service announcement talks about the virtues of using compact fluorescent light bulbs. I can switch off unnecessary lights, but using fluorescent light bulbs has been a stumbling block for me.
Firstly, those fluorescent bulbs are a lot more expensive than the regular incandescent bulbs. I understand that they are supposed to use less energy and last 10 times longer than standard light bulbs, but I’ve never been good at the “new math”. It’s hard for me to work that out in my head when I’m in the store. When I’m faced with one light bulb for $6.00 and four light bulbs for $3.00; the latter usually wins the day. Secondly, back in the days when caring for the earth was called the ecology movement; my Mom purchased those bulbs. For months we looked like a family of zombies; ashy and yellow (yuck); not our usual coco caramel brown selves (yum).
Recently a leading consumer magazine recommended a brand of efficient light bulbs. I trust the periodical and bought some of the bulbs. I just had the chance to use them this week when 2 of the 3 light bulbs over my bathroom sink went out. They worked fine; or at least I thought they did. I learned otherwise once I left my home. I was running errands and ended up in a large department store. The store has large mirrors situated throughout. I got a shock when I saw my reflection in one of the mirrors. I looked like a cheap hooker (the “R” rate description) or a clown (the “G” rated description). My checks were so overly rouged they looked like 2 stop signs on my face. My cheeks looked hot; and not in the good way. So, I hot footed it home; avoiding making eye contact with people and small animals (a surprisingly easy thing to do in New York).
Back home in my bathroom where I applied my makeup; my face looked fine. In the world; I looked freakish. I then looked at my hands and noticed a slight yellow/green tint to my skin. I didn’t pick up on it on my face in the morning but, perhaps I applied extra blush to counteract the effects of the lighting.
Bottom line; the compact fluorescent light bulbs screwed with my look; so I unscrewed the compact fluorescent light bulbs.
I want to be green, but I am unwilling to be red (cheeked).