Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Environmental Wednesday: Australia, A step ahead and behind.

A few years ago, Australia set a dead line to phase out incandescent light bulbs globes and to use only CFLs by some date (look, I could look it up, but who needs specifics?) which is awesome! You know CFLs save you money, they use 75 per cent less energy than an incandescent globe. Yay! Environment! Forward thinking, Australia, I like it!

Problem: CFLs are made from mercury. Mercury, in case you haven't heard, is bad for you! So, in an ideal world - Australia would've been like "Mates, we're switching to CFLs and we're banning them from landfills - you gotsta recycle that shit" because you know they can do that. They CAN close loop recycle CFLs (take them apart completely=no waste). That is not what happened. Instead, 95 per cent of light globes end up in the land fill here. Which includes industrial light fixtures.

The point: Buy CFLs save yourself money. Save energy. Protect the environment: recycle them - if you're in America most CFLs packages have a website where you can get information on how to recycle them. If you are from Australia, go your council website and ask them how to recycle them. And if you're from the rest of the world - chances are you're ahead of them CFL curve, so congratulations you smug light globe users!

The Point Part 2: Because most light households still use incandescents in Australia, there is not a whole lot that the individuals can do. This is a legislative problem. It's a low hanging fruit issue with high risk to the environment due to the fact the bulk of the problem lies within industry.


  1. I am completely missing the point but

    *giggles uncontrollably at "low hanging fruit"*

  2. Awww. The demigod, I thought this was an excellent post! I learned something! I am going to be active! I am not going to laugh at low hanging fruit jokes!

  3. Burn - the giggling happens to me everytime we talk about "low hanging fruit" in class - which is weekly.

    Ev Rev - Laugh at low hanging fruit jokes AND be active :)

  4. I am always interested to hear about the way other countries deal with the environmental issue. So far it seems like the U.S. has done a whole lot of nothing but the people on their own have taken more of an initiative to change things, which kind of amazes me since they really don't have a whole lot of incentive to do so.

  5. Each household got 4 (free) CFLs from the goverments last year.
    I love free stuff :) I didn't know you could recycle them.

    You are a smart cookie ms. Environment. I love cookies.

  6. Kyle - I think the individual involvement depends on the area you live in and the people you hang out with :)

    DDG - you *have* to recycle them, otherwise they're actually worse for the environment then incandescents! :) Thank you!

  7. I didn't realize they have mercury in them! I've been learning a lot tonight in my blog reading!

    Did you mention low hanging fruit?

  8. This interests me. I wonder if the bulbs emit ANY amount of mercury. As the mother of a child who we believe has suffered from mercury poisoning [long story] and has been chelated, I'm super careful with chemicals in our house. I haven't switched the new bulbs, but the boys want me to. I need to research this. Thanks, kitten!

  9. Twenty Four - Yay! Educational! :)

    Chris - I am 84 percent certain they do not emit mercury - but yes you should definitely do some back ground research :)

    Also - if anyone cares, Australia will have phased out incandescents by 2010; so they say.