Thursday, September 3, 2009

When the Lights Go Out

You probably already know that compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, save you loads through increased energy efficiency (60-80% less energy usage than conventional bulbs) and longer life (6 to 15 times longer).

But what do you do with CFLs when they do die? There's mercury in there, so you can't just throw them out. Well, intrepid reporter Jody found out that The Home Depot recycles CFLs!

Also: once you've phased out those old batteries with rechargeable batteries, bring the old batteries to Whole Foods to recycle them (bins at the exit door, next to the #5 plastics recycling bins).

Don't forget these other energy/money-saving tips!

[Photo by Schodts]

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Metrocard math

Back in the salad days when you were working full-time in New York and taking the subway every day, you probably just plunked down the $80+ for a 30-day unlimited Metrocard because it was the best deal, right?

Nowadays, there are stretches where you don't get on the subway or a bus for days at a time. Your hours have been cut to a few days a week (or you're out of a job entirely) and you stay at home or at least in the neighborhood most of the time.

But which Metorcard should you buy for those times when you do need to travel? If you put at least $8 on a regular Metrocard, the 15% bonus means each trip costs only $1.96 (the bonus does not increase the more cash you put on the card, so long as it's more than $8). Here's a breakdown of the minimum number of rides you need to take for the unlimited Metrocards to be a better value: