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Old 04-01-2009, 05:29 AM   #1
Drysdale
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Default So... Are we officially in Russia now?

Smuggling dishwashing detergent?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090328/...tleg_detergent
SPOKANE, Wash. The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don't work as well. Spokane County became the launch pad last July for the nation's strictest ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates, a measure aimed at reducing water pollution. The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states.
But it's not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.
Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe's left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.
As a result, there has been a quiet rush of Spokane-area shoppers heading east on Interstate 90 into Idaho in search of old-school suds.
Real estate agent Patti Marcotte of Spokane stocks up on detergent at a Costco in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and doesn't care who knows it.
"Yes, I am a smuggler," she said. "I'm taking my chances because dirty dishes I cannot live with."
(In truth, the ban applies to the sale of phosphate detergent not its use or possession so Marcotte is not in any legal trouble.)
Marcotte said she tried every green brand in her dishwasher and found none would remove grease and pieces of food. Everybody she knows buys dishwasher detergent in Idaho, she said.
Supporters of the ban acknowledge it is not very popular.
"I'm not hearing a lot of positive feedback," conceded Shannon Brattebo of the Washington Lake Protection Association, a prime mover of the ban. "I think people are driving to Idaho."
Steve Marcy, manager of the Costco in Coeur d'Alene, about 10 miles east of the Washington state line, estimated that sales of dishwasher detergent in his store have increased 10 percent. He knows where the customers are coming from.
"I'll joke with them and ask if they are from Spokane," Marcy said. "They say, `Oh yeah.'"
Shoppers can still buy phosphate detergents in Washington state by venturing outside Spokane County, but Idaho is more convenient to many Spokane residents.
Phosphates the main cleaning agent in many detergents and household cleaners break down grease and remove stains. However, the chemicals are difficult to remove in wastewater treatment plants and often wind up in rivers and lakes, where they promote the growth of algae. And algae gobble up oxygen in the water that fish need to survive.
While traditional detergents are up to 9 percent phosphate, those sold in Spokane County can contain no more than 0.5 percent.
The Washington Lake Protection Association has launched a campaign to encourage people to give the environmentally friendly brands a fair chance. The group suggests consumers experiment with different brands or install water softeners to help the green detergents work better.
"Clean lakes and clean dishes do not have to be mutually exclusive," said association president-elect Jacob McCann.

Phosphates have been banned in laundry detergent nationally since 1993. Washington was the first state where the Legislature passed a similar ban against dishwasher detergents, in 2006. The ban is being phased in, starting with Spokane County.
"It's nice to be on the cutting edge," Spokane resident Ken Beck, an opponent of the ban, said sarcastically.
Among other states that have banned or are banning phosphates in dishwasher detergent are Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York. A bill on Capitol Hill would impose a nationwide ban.
The Soap and Detergent Association, which represents manufacturers, initially fought the bans. But as the movement gained strength across the country, the association asked legislatures to delay bans until July 2010 to allow for a uniform rollout of products.
The industry has been working to develop better low-phosphate detergents, said Dennis Griesing, vice president of the manufacturers group.
"This is an irrevocable, nationwide commitment on the industry's part," he said.
For his part, Beck has taken to washing his dishes on his machine's pots-and-pans cycle, which takes longer and uses five gallons more water. Beck wonders if that isn't as tough on the environment as phosphates. "How much is this really costing us?" Beck said. "Aren't we transferring the environmental consequences to something else?"
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:40 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Drysdale View Post
For his part, Beck has taken to washing his dishes on his machine's pots-and-pans cycle, which takes longer and uses five gallons more water. Beck wonders if that isn't as tough on the environment as phosphates. "How much is this really costing us?" Beck said. "Aren't we transferring the environmental consequences to something else?" Smuggling dishwashing detergent?
Fair question to ask, since people are now expending more fossil fuels to drive to the supply and more energy running the dishwasher longer.
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:57 PM   #3
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its just like those made in china only florescent bulbs. Sure they save a bit of power but your furnace(if you live where you have to have one) has to work slightly harder to make up for the heat regular bulbs put out.

it sounds silly. but.. then again. old bulbs actually crank out alot of heat....

so are you saving? 17 dollars for a bulb that lasts a couple years longer then a 1 dollar bulb. saves a bit of power that your furnace promptly burns to make up for the lack of heat.

O waaaait. did I forget to mention that the Eco friendly bulbs have Mercury in them? the harmful variety.

you could recycle the incandescent ones. you can't recycle florescent ones without a expensive process. so where do they end up in the end? In the land fill leaking mercury. in spades.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SupportTank View Post
its just like those made in china only florescent bulbs. Sure they save a bit of power but your furnace(if you live where you have to have one) has to work slightly harder to make up for the heat regular bulbs put out.

it sounds silly. but.. then again. old bulbs actually crank out alot of heat....

so are you saving? 17 dollars for a bulb that lasts a couple years longer then a 1 dollar bulb. saves a bit of power that your furnace promptly burns to make up for the lack of heat.

O waaaait. did I forget to mention that the Eco friendly bulbs have Mercury in them? the harmful variety.

you could recycle the incandescent ones. you can't recycle florescent ones without a expensive process. so where do they end up in the end? In the land fill leaking mercury. in spades.
The mercury issue is a fair one, but the heat output of normal incandescents? That sounds specious at best.

My biggest complaint about the fluorescent bulbs is the lag/warm-up some of the ones we've used had.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune View Post
The mercury issue is a fair one, but the heat output of normal incandescents? That sounds specious at best.

My biggest complaint about the fluorescent bulbs is the lag/warm-up some of the ones we've used had.
In Texas, less heat is usually a good thing anyway.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Drysdale View Post
In Texas, less heat is usually a good thing anyway.
Even in CT I'm with you there My desk lamp at home is essentially perma-off as I hate the heat it throws.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune View Post
Even in CT I'm with you there My desk lamp at home is essentially perma-off as I hate the heat it throws.
Heh, I just dropped a wad of cash to get my roof covered with tinfoil. Not to hide from black helicopters either! I get my radiant barrier installed Saturday... Hopefully it'll actually keep my attic temp below 150f...
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune View Post
The mercury issue is a fair one, but the heat output of normal incandescents? That sounds specious at best.

My biggest complaint about the fluorescent bulbs is the lag/warm-up some of the ones we've used had.
It is a specious argument, and I'm with you on the warmup time it takes for those bulbs.

Still, I did find some specialty ones that were the same price as my current bulbs (recessed can lights) used in the kitchen, so I thought I'd give 'em a shot. They outlasted a couple bulbs so far, and the type of light they throw in the kitchen is better than the incandescents, so I think I'll make the switch in there.


What price are you guys paying up there on average for the CFCs?
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:15 AM   #9
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Keep an eye on LED bulbs, currently quite pricey really, but they do last a lot longer even than the CFLs, and have no mercury, and very low power consumption, about 1/2 that of CFLs. I would expect as they gain popularity, the prices will drop.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:17 PM   #10
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If you dont believe me about the heat go ahead and grab one after its been running for about 10 mins. Now think about that burnt hand times the number of bulbs in your house.

LEDs are the real way to go for eco friendly bulbs.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:35 PM   #11
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I've been impressed with the radiant barrier in my house. Seems to do a great job reducing the workload on the A/C. Ironically, I think all the lighting in the new house is now using more electricity than the AC.

I've not been impressed with CFC bulbs. About half the ones I've gotten have either been DOA or die within a few months. The others have lasted OK (although I haven't had them long enough to compare vs regular bulb) but the light seems "weak", even after they've warmed up for a few minutes. So I'm eagerly awaiting the LED ones becoming quasi-affordable.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by SupportTank View Post
If you dont believe me about the heat go ahead and grab one after its been running for about 10 mins. Now think about that burnt hand times the number of bulbs in your house.

LEDs are the real way to go for eco friendly bulbs.
Oh I'm not disputing that they get hot. I'm disputing that they throw enough heat to make a meaningful difference in terms of how much or how little you heat your home.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune View Post
Oh I'm not disputing that they get hot. I'm disputing that they throw enough heat to make a meaningful difference in terms of how much or how little you heat your home.
Did you know that a single lightbulb is still a common practice to keep pipes from freezing in a crawlspace. no it doesn't Heat the place.

But if it can keep a area warm enough to stop pipes from freezing in minus 20. that's Significant.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:55 AM   #14
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Typical incandescent bulbs produce approximately 90% heat, 10% visible light. So, a single 100W bulb is using 90W to produce heat, 10W to produce visible light. So basically, every 100W bulb is a 90W heater.

For comparison, inexpensive space heaters are in the neighborhood of 1500W.

So, it would take 16 or so 100W bulbs to equal a single inexpensive space heater in heat output.

I was surprised to learn that halogen bulbs are more efficient, about 17%, vs 10% for standard incandescent. My only exposure to them was the fairly high wattage ones that got really hot.
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