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posted: 8/30/2011 5:02 AM

Going green shouldn't have to be fun

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One of the best editorial letters on the environment recently was about "Do the Right Thing" by using CFLs. And the right thing is rewarding, too.

As an environmental person for the last five years I continually ask myself how do we get more people onboard to save money, go green, and help the Earth? Everyone says you have to make it fun. Are they right? We are the ME generation. It has to be fun, or we won't do it, they say.

We may get our own way but we miss the heart -- the caring part. We are in this together. The good news: no one is alone.

About the simple CFL light bulb, do the math: for about a dollar, you can save $40 over the life of the bulb, it's cooler, you can handle them and the mercury concern is a crock since the coal-fired power plants spew many, many times the mercury into the air, to be absorbed by us and the fish. One plant alone spews about a ton of mercury a year into the air. A CFL has at most 10 to 15 mg mercury, and can be recycled.

To have to wear a sweater or use an afghan when sitting in front of the TV is quite a "sacrifice." Ask the young people who put their limbs and lives and sanity on the line when they sign into the military and serve us.

As one of the older generation now, I was raised on heroic movies with James Stewart, Gary Cooper and Spencer Tracy about people like Sgt. Alvin York, Father Flanagan, Florence Nightingale and many more. JFK said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

To be fair, I believe most of us get really confused by what we hear from the oil and coal industries and their multimillion dollar lobbies.

What is more rewarding than community involvement, following your favorite passion like going green, helping kids, visiting the elderly or sick, cleaning up a park or civic work?

Times are getting tougher and we need to raise ourselves to a higher level of living. We are all needed to be caring and committed, and for me that beats out fun and games anytime!

Sandra Kaptain


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