A light bulb goes out in your house. Let’s say for the sake of argument it’s a standard 60W incandescent tungsten-based light. Also, for the sake of argument let’s say you want to replace it, because the space is transited when the day is dark, or for some other practical or aesthetic reason – or just because it used to be there.
Let’s also assume you care a bit about the planet or your children, and that you are a critical thinker. Now things suddenly got complicated.
If you’re like me, over the next ten seconds your gaze seems fix on the burnt bulb, and then float through it, past its glass globe and dangling tungsten filament fragment.
Now staring 10 seconds at a bulb is a bit weird, especially for spectators that seem to be increasingly reassured I’ve lost it but somehow seem to love me more for it. During those ten weird seconds, the following unfolds in my mind:
As you see, a burnt out bulb can, trigger an exploration of a complex and vast decision space – one in which I run into my own beliefs and assumptions, with more unknowns and unknowables than knowns. I may not know the optimal decision, a lot of the data I base those decisions on may be wrong, incomplete, or fabricated. I also realize I’m not the vanguard of sustainability – I can probably live using way less resources with some extreme changes in lifestyle; but I do believe I can use significantly less resources with some mindful changes.
But I can live with what I have decided – I’m going to go with LEDs for most cases and CFLs where I have them already.