Good news: you can extend the Earth’s life, but it involves shortening your own.
One simple way to help is by using environmentally-friendly compact fluorescent CFLs, which emit soft, pleasing light while using less power and also, giving you cancer.
According to the UK Telegraph, the cancer-causing chemicals in CFL’s are only dangerous if you use them:
Their report advises that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone’s head, as they emit poisonous materials when switched on.
So really, if you don’t use a CFL bulb to create light then there really is nothing to worry about.
Why It Can Kill You
Compact fluorescent bulbs contain the toxic metal mercury, which, in very small amounts is rather harmless. But in large doses can cause your arms to turn into flippers and give you super powers. The amount of mercury in a typical CFL is somewhere in between.
More dangerous still, many CFL bulbs are shaped like ice cream cones. When you succumb to the temptation to bite into the delicious treat, the mercury therein is absorbed directly into your bloodstream, along with countless tiny shards of glass.