In Australia, the federal government is planning to phase out incandescent globes in the next couple of years and only have compact fluorescent bulbs available. The main aim of the program is to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse emissions. This is commendable.
However, there was a story last night on the ABC's 730 Report about compact fluorescent light bulbs - click here for the transcript. Apparently, the compact fluorescent globes contain minute amounts of mercury which can cause significant issues if they go to landfill. They can also cause a problem for children or pregnant women if the globes break and the contents are inhaled. The way it was presented in the report strongly suggested that the compact fluorescents were causing another environmental issue.
Looking at the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) website today, I found another article on the globes - click here. The ACF are saying that while the globes do contain mercury, their advantages outweigh their disadvantages.
What both reports have in common is that they are calling for government-controlled recycling programs for the bulbs. The ACF give a link to the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts which discusses how to dispose of the bulbs, what to do if they should break and collection sites for your state/territory.
We, like many others, have embraced this new technology. Now I'm feeling not so sure about it. Should we return to lanterns and candles for our lighting? Go solar? Should we simply go to bed when it gets dark? Maybe get some glow worms? All suggestions welcome.
love and light