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How to Screw in a CFL Bulb Safely

Reposting a very useful comment from Paul Ronco from Fredericksburg VA: [T]he correct way to screw in, as well as remove, a CFL is by grasping it on the white plastic base with your fingertips and carefully twisting. This is why CFLs have extended white plastic bases that go beyond the actual metallic connector, whereas […]

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Compact Fluorescents and Mercury

This much is true — compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) contain mercury and mercury is toxic. Also true — the mercury is sealed in, so you won’t be exposed unless a bulb breaks AND you don’t follow a few simple clean-up steps (below). This, too, is true — many of America’s favorite food fish are contaminated […]

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12 Most Important Foods to Buy Organic (2009)

Try the 12 Most Important Foods to Buy Organic for 2013 instead. More up-to-date! If you can’t afford to get all your food organic (how many people can?), you will be interested in the latest edition of the “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides” from the Environmental Working Group, which lists the fruits and vegetables with the […]

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BPA-free Water Bottles

Are the new breed of clear, hard “BPA-free” water bottles made with Tritan — from Nalgene, Kor, Camelbak, Thermos and others — safer than the polycarbonate bottles they replaced? Not necessarily. To assess their safety, we would need to know what chemicals are in the bottles, not just that BPA is not. After all, other […]

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Which Plastics are Microwavable?

The question of which plastics are microwavable can be answered different ways, depending on what you mean by “microwavable.” If you just want to know whether a plastic container will withstand microwaving without becoming damaged or exposing you to on-the-spot injury (such as a burn), the answer is, follow the instructions on the container. However, […]

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Safer Ways to De-ice

My local landscape has been covered with road salt the last couple of weeks, due to periodic snowfalls and temperatures consistently below freezing. I can’t say I am sorry to have steps and sidewalks clear of ice (with my bad back, a fall could be disabling), but I wish the landlords and homeowners that dispense […]

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Recycling Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

One objection to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that people often raise is the problem of disposing of them safely due to the mercury they contain. Mercury is a toxin that is particularly dangerous to the developing brains of children (and babies in utero) and is suspected of posing a heart risk to adults. The amount […]

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