- Light bulbs - The country that invented the incandescent light bulb will soon be without them. The environmentalists have forced laws that will result in their disappearance in the name of "saving energy" starting about 2012. "Although the United States is not phasing out incandescent light bulbs, it has set minimum efficiency standards for lighting which preclude most legacy incandescent designs; these minimum standards phase in between 2012 and 2014." -- WP
The flaw here is the same as above: instead of bio-accumulating mercury in fish where I might eat it, I'm bringing it directly into the house where my kids will break it.
That, and fluorescent lighting in general is awful in color, can trigger seizures in certain at-risk groups, and depletes your Vitamin D. Traditional incandescent light bulbs should remain available until a real energy friendly and non-hazardous replacement can be found. In the meantime, I'm stocking up.
- Dishwashing soap - More backwards innovation from eco-friendly regulations. All the major producers have removed phosphates from dishwashing soap, and now stuff won't get clean. "Until recently, dishwashing soap contained about 8 percent elemental phosphorus. That's the magic element that "strips food and grease off dirty dishes and breaks down calcium-based stains." It also prevents food from reattaching to the dishes. Or used to. As of July 2010, the nation's detergent manufacturers, bowing to laws regulating phosphorus in 17 states, reconfigured the formula for all dishwashing soap to contain less than 0.5 percent phosphorus." -- source
The salt in the wound? The "problem" this solves is that detergent contributes 2% towards "algae blooms" in water bodies which use up more oxygen for the fish. The big contributor is lawn fertilizer, not detergent.
Anybody know where I can get a wheelbarrow's worth of phosphorus for my dishes? Some people are adding vinegar to try to get rid of the calcium stains. Let me know if that works for you.