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Broken CFLs: a Scary Halloween Story
Posted By Beth Terry On October 31, 2007 @ 11:29 am In Environmental,Global Warming & Energy Conservation | 10 Comments
Happy Halloween. After reading nearly twenty articles this past month on how to “green” your Halloween, Michael and I have decided to skip it altogether this year and opt for a nice Ethiopian dinner out with friends. That solves our problem of finding plastic-free Halloween treats to hand out. None. Of course, if you were hoping I’d post my solutions for a plastic-free Halloween, I’ve let us all down! Oh well… there’s always next year. Feel free to post your own solutions to the Halloween greed-fest in the comments.
In the meantime, continuing with the global warming/energy conservation theme this week, and needing to provide a little Halloween scare, I thought I’d share some information I just discovered.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we had bought a package of Phillips CFLs from Costco (in the days when we weren’t being careful about plastic) and had such a hard time getting them out of the blister or clamshell or whatever the heck it’s called, that a bulb broke while we were just trying to cut the pack open. Oh, great, we thought, knowing that CFLs contain come mercury but not knowing really what that means or what we should do about it.
We cleaned up the pieces as best we could, not taking any particular precautions besides trying not to touch the glass as much as possible. Now I find that we did everything wrong, according to the EPA. This is what we should have done, per instructions on the EPA’s web site :
If a fluorescent bulb breaks on a rug or carpet:
Okay, so Michael and I are already dead. But you don’t have to be. (Or are these precautions overkill?)
One commenter yesterday mentioned we could get CFLs in cardboard from Whole Foods. So that will be my mission this weekend: returning the rest of the Phillips bulbs to Costco and finding some that won’t burst when we open the package.
P.S. If I’d planned ahead for Halloween, I might have sprung for College Farm Organic candies  which are not only organic but come wrapped in compostable corn-starch-based wrappers.
Article printed from My Plastic-free Life: http://myplasticfreelife.com
URL to article: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2007/10/broken-cfls-scary-halloween-story/
URLs in this post:
 EPA’s web site: http://www.epa.gov/mercury/spills/index.htm#flourescent
 College Farm Organic candies: http://www.collegefarmorganic.com/
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