It Ain't Easy Being Green...

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Professionals.

I work with several elderly people on fixed incomes. I drop by from time to time, not so much as a Realtor but as a friend. If a light bulb is out or they need something else done, I do it. My feeling is we all have one thing in common and that is we will all get older or die trying.

One of these friends has given me several referrals.

But what this post is about is being green. The pressure on older people to recycle and preserve is huge. One day while changing a bulb in a can light for a friend we discovered I had changed that same bulb less than a year before. One thing I've discovered is that seniors are the very best record keepers.

She knew;

  • When she bought the bulb
  • What she paid for it
  • When I replaced the bulb
  • The brand and where it was made

Her Granddaughter had told her she should use the new florescent bulbs because they use less energy and are better for the environment.

In fact;

  • This bulb cost twice what a regular can light bulb costs
  • Lasted less than a year
  • Broke up in my hand when I attempted to remove it
  • The same wattage regular bulb, operated by the same light switch, has been in service for over 2 years
  • Last, the florescent bulb, made in China, is noted as hazardous waste by our Pierce County solid waste authority.

That doesn't seem very environmentally sound to me.  How about you?


Authored by Paul S. Henderson, Realtor ®, RE/MAX Professionals, Dupont & Lacey, WA.

( or

©2009 Paul S. Henderson, It Ain't Easy Being Green, All Rights Reserved

Posted by

 and courtesy of 

Paul S. Henderson, Residential Real Estate Broker 

Tacoma Washington 

Realtor ® BPOR, CRS, GRI, CDPE

RE/MAX Professionals

4801 S 19th Street, Suite 200

Tacoma WA. 98405



Paul's Service Area


As a Residential Broker and Relocation Specialist, I sell homes in or around ,Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Steilacoom,  University Place, DuPont and Hartstene Pointe in Washington State.
Please visit my website at Paul Henderson to search for homes and information 

(all information is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed or warranted in any way)

Referrals are always welcomed and appreciated, Thank-you!

(As a member of the NWMLS, this blog post is intended to comply with NWMLS rules as pertaining to blogging.)





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Show All Comments
Todd Pierceall
Prestige Properties - Gastonia, NC

I never knew that about the new bulbs.  This is something I will have to check out.  Thanks for the tip!

Mar 25, 2009 05:34 PM #1
Kym Wright
Prudential California Realty - Olivenhain, CA

Very interesting, I think we are so into labels that we don't REALLY remember how long a bulb has been in a certain lamp etc.  I personally do not like the new Green bulbs because they stick out of my lamps and blind me.  I find the old fashioned method of just using lights as needed and keeping things unplugged works the best for us!

Mar 25, 2009 05:43 PM #2
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Paul ~ Very interesting!  I love the idea of having such a good handle on the components of your household and what you spent on them.  That's the way it used to be and we need more of that nowadays. 

I hate the new bulbs. The light is awful, they're ugly, and I do not want to have to do research and consider multitudes of bulb types to get a decent lightbulb for my house. I'm stocking up on the regular ones every chance I get.  And I think everybody should stock up to because when you go to sell your house those new fangled bulbs do not get the job done. Bright, responsive light is key.

This also reminds me of how we're subjected nowadays to crappy products with short lifespans.  Windows, water heaters, lightbulbs - they used to last for ages and now they're on their way out as soon as you install them.  When I was a child my grandmother gave me several early lightbulbs - still working even though they were over 50 years old.  We need to make things that last - that's the green thing to do.



Mar 26, 2009 01:10 AM #4
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I will be dragged, kicking and screaming to buy the new light bulbs.  I hate now, have always hated and will always hate fluorescent lighting. 

Yes, I do remember when light bulbs were replaces, when shrubs were planted and when the heat pump was serviced. 

BTW, if you get in the neighborhood, I've got about 5 ceiling lights out.  Pretty soon, I'll need a flashlight to navigate my kitchen. 

Mar 26, 2009 01:17 AM #5
Richard Stabile
Re/Max Real Estate Limited - Oradell, NJ
Bergen County New Homes Builder Realtor

Paul, you must keep the receipts, every time you buy them in one place. Yes, there ar challenges with these bulbs because of what is inside. Nothing is perfect.


Mar 26, 2009 01:54 AM #6
Barbara Delaney
Park Place REALTORS, Inc. - Roanoke, VA

Dear Paul,

So many elderly people will go for anything that isn't too expensive , to try to save money long term.

I wouldn't remember the last time I replaced a bulb.

It is so nice of you to perform those little tasks for your clients!


Mar 26, 2009 05:22 AM #7
League City, TX - Worrell Team, REALTORS, GRI, CNE
RE/MAX 1st Class - League City, TX

I agree that the light from a flourescent bulb is not as nice as the old-fashioned kind...but don't give up with any new technology, it will improve with time.

Mar 26, 2009 05:27 AM #8
Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest - Cary, IL
SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL

You bring up a very good point, Paul!  How about just turning them all off for an hour tonight for Earth Hour?

(I have information on my blog, if you are interested in participating this evening:-)

Mar 27, 2009 11:13 PM #9
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