If you have Venetian blinds that are broken or that don’t open or close properly and would like them replaced, just let me know, and I will replace them at no cost to you. All the Venetian blinds in my rentals have aluminum slats. I used to buy Venetian blinds with vinyl slats, which are cheaper and last longer than aluminum slats, but many vinyl blinds have lead in the vinyl, especially vinyl blinds from East Asia, which is where most of them are made. As vinyl slats get old, sunlight and heat break down the vinyl and the lead leaches out and forms a white powdery coating on the slats. Then every time you touch the slats, you get lead on your fingers. When I found out about that, I replaced all the vinyl Venetian blinds in my rental units with aluminum ones. That was many years ago. A lot of people assume that the federal government tests building materials to make sure they don’t contain toxic chemicals or heavy metals, but unfortunately, that isn’t true. 2 years ago, I replaced all the CFL light bulbs in my rentals with LEDs. CFLs contain mercury, LEDs do not. I also replaced all the mercury-bulb wall thermostats with electronic thermostats, which are mercury-free. I tell other landlords that they should think carefully about environmental issues when buying building materials because tenants, especially in this area, care about this more than they may realize.


2 years ago, I replaced all the incandescent and CFL light bulbs in my rentals with LED bulbs. However, I may have missed a few. If you find an incandescent light bulb or a CFL light bulb in your unit, bring to me, and I will exchange it for an LED light bulb. LED light bulbs use 80% less electricity than incandescent bulbs. They use less electricity than  CFL light bulbs as well, and unlike CFL light bulbs, LED light bulbs contain no mercury. Burned out CFL bulbs are considered toxic waster; LED bulbs are not. If you have an LED light bulb that has burned out, I have replacement LED light bulbs in the chocolate room.


I also have appliance light bulbs in stock in the chocolate room. Never put a regular light bulb in a refrigerator, freezer, kitchen oven, or microwave oven. These appliances need appliance light bulbs, which are made to withstand both heat and cold.

LED Lighting

I am in the process of replacing all the CFLs (Compact Florescent Lights) and incandescent light bulbs in my rentals with LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs have several advantages over CFLs.
  • LED light bulbs use 30% to 40% less electricity than CFLs. That is mainly because they produce less heat, which is wasted energy in light bulbs.
  • LED light bulbs last much longer than CFLs. The life expectancy of LED light bulbs is over 20 years, so you should never have to replace them.
  • LED light bulbs contain no mercury. The thing that always made me uncomfortable about CFLs is that they all contain mercury and break easily.
I will be contacting you soon to set up a time to replace your light bulbs. I have 40 watt and 60 watt replacement size LED bulbs. LED light bulbs tend to be brighter than CFLs, so if you want me to put the lower watt LED bulbs in your rooms, let me know. I will bring both size LED bulbs with me. I would like to do this job while you are home and in the evening, so you can see what your rooms will look like with the LED light bulbs turned on.

Things You Can and Cannot Put In Your Garbage Can.

Did you know that you can be fined up to $25,000 for putting a used flashlight battery in your garbage can? I don’t know if anyone has ever actually been fined that much for putting a battery in their garbage can, but the penalties for putting batteries and CFL or other florescent light bulbs in your garbage can can be huge. In California, it is illegal to put electronic products of any kind in your garbage can. This includes telephones, cell phones, radios, VCRs, DVD players, televisions, computer monitors, and microwave ovens. Electronic products like these contain chemicals and toxic metals including lead, mercury, and chromium. It is also illegal to put non-electronic thermometers and thermostats in the garbage can if they contain mercury bulbs. All of these products can be taken to any Green Citizen store in the bay area. There are lots of them. There is one in downtown Berkeley. Green Citizen will accept used electronic products for free disposal. If you have other things that you want to dispose of but can’t legally put in your garbage can, like paint or used motor oil, call me and I will tell you where you can take such items.