Light up my life!

Last weekend was my annual trip to Centerparcs with seven other women - more to the point, without husbands and kids!!!! Our ninth visit saw us another year older with increased aches and pains, dependency on reading glasses and frequent nightly trips to the loo! However, our fight for the best lit place on the sofa was not entirely due to our failing eyes, but to Centerparcs’ worthy green policy of switching entirely to eco light bulbs.

So I could in part identify with Euan Ferguson’s amusing back page column in the Observer magazine last weekend. Although to this man, ethical living meant “helping your friends when they were in trouble….and getting out of the bath to have a wee,” he was sympathetic to those who took green issues more seriously (I would put myself in this category). That is, “until the stupid, ghastly, stupid news about the light bulbs.”

Megaman low energy light bulbSoon, supermarkets will only stock low energy light bulbs and we will all be forced to make an ethical choice (no choice, obviously). The rationale is clear, but so is the downside - these bulbs are just not as instant or as bright. And Euan Ferguson’s point is that when forced to “use ugly happy-sapping light bulbs”, there will be a backlash. People will be less inclined to play their part in environmental responsibility.

We do all hate being told what to do. If we tell a child what to do, how often do they do the opposite? Even though in our house, we have a pretty healthy diet, I resist the whole healthy school dinners thing. Suggestion is one thing. Coercion is another.

I do actually believe in using eco light bulbs, despite the obvious disadvantages. And they will improve over time - or we will get used to them! But I am with Euan Ferguson in that forcing the hand of the consumer strengthens the reactionary response. All the more reason for positive role models of ethical living to stand up, be counted -

and let their light shine!

One Response to “Light up my life!”

  1. But isn’t this the fundamental problem? Everyone wants to be green, but they don’t want it to cost them anything. Everyone wants to carry on with the same old things they did in their “high carbon” lifestyles, but wants to use less carbon. It doesn’t add up.

    The world can’t cope with 1 billion Chinese and 1 billion Indians living the high carbon lifestyle we lead. Something has to give and I don’t see it should be the people of Asia. For many households in India and China there is one light bulb. Count the number in your house Euan. We’re not asking you give any up, we’re just asking you to use ones with 1/5th of the consumption. Then at least on the carbon scales the average Chinese house can have 5 bulbs!!!!!

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