Erich Potter: ‘They may not be as pervasive as Wal-Mart, but Ikea has just the sort of recycling bins discussed in your column. You can drop off your mercury containing light bulbs and batteries at their stores (not too sure about the emergency flares). If you don’t have an Ikea nearby you can find the closest place to recycle those mercury bulbs check this out.’
Tim Bonham: ‘Here in Minneapolis, the City recycling program takes household batteries. All you have to do is leave them in a clear plastic bag on top of your other recyclables in the alley. Doesn’t get much more convenient than that.’
Anna Marasco: ‘When the first Wal-Mart came to Lawrence KS, one of the things they did for the community was open a center where you could bring glass, plastics of all kinds, paper, and cardboard. Hopefully, that will continue with their trend toward greening. If they don’t though, many areas have a place like this where you can take fluorescents.’
WHY SO MUCH SPACE DEVOTED TO CFLs?
Heck, we’re just talking about a few lightbulbs, right? Well, it may be more important than you’d initially assume.
Carol Vinzant: ‘If you liked the Times’ January story on Wal-Mart’s push for CFLs, you’ll love the Fast Company story by Charles Fishman they seemed to have based it on.’
☞ I do. In small part:
Sitting humbly on shelves in stores everywhere is a product, priced at less than $3, that will change the world. Soon. It is a fairly ordinary item that nonetheless cuts to the heart of a half-dozen of the most profound, most urgent problems we face. Energy consumption. Rising gasoline costs and electric bills. Greenhouse-gas emissions. Dependence on coal and foreign oil. Global warming. . . .
Compact fluorescents emit the same light as classic incandescents but use 75% or 80% less electricity.
What that means is that if every one of 110 million American households bought just one ice-cream-cone bulb, took it home, and screwed it in the place of an ordinary 60-watt bulb, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people. . . .
Swirl bulbs don’t just work, they pay for themselves. They use so little power compared with old reliable bulbs, a $3 swirl pays for itself in lower electric bills in about five months. Screw one in, turn it on, and it’s not just lighting your living room, it’s dropping quarters in your pocket. The advantages pile up in a way to almost make one giddy. Compact fluorescents, even in heavy use, last 5, 7, 10 years. Years. Install one on your 30th birthday; it may be around to help illuminate your 40th.
Frank: ‘I think LEDs last longer than CFLs, are more luminance-efficient, and do not contain mercury. But cost even more. Click here. [‘The latest LED light bulbs now produce about the same amount of light per watt as compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL). However, unlike incandescent bulbs and CFLs, which splash light in all directions, LED bulbs are directional. They drive their light in one direction, so that you have light exactly where you want it. This directional lighting equals savings in yet another fashion. LEDs don’t waste light (energy) on areas you don’t need illuminated, which is also why they’re perfect task lights.’] Lowest price I can find: here.’
THE BEST POSSIBLE NEWS
(the partnering part, not the extinction part)
On Wednesday [writes my friend Alan Farago in the Orlando Sentinel], the nation’s leading scientists and evangelicals joined in Washington, D.C., to urge action to reverse rapidly escalating environmental problems, including global warming and species extinction.
“We are glad to be partnering with our friends in the scientific community. They have the facts we need to present to our congregations; we have the numbers of activists that will work through churches, government, and the business community to make a significant impact,” said the Rev. Joel Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, in Longwood.
[. . . ]
‘We agree that our home, the Earth, which comes to us as that inexpressibly beautiful and mysterious gift that sustains our very lives, is seriously imperiled by human behavior. The harm is seen throughout the natural world, including a cascading set of problems such as climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, and species extinctions, as well as the spread of human infectious diseases, and other accelerating threats to the health of people and the well-being of societies.
‘Each particular problem could be enumerated, but here it is enough to say that we are gradually destroying the sustaining community of life on which all living things on Earth depend. The costs of this destruction are already manifesting themselves around the world in profound and painful ways. The cost to humanity is already significant and may soon become incalculable. Being irreversible, many of these changes would affect all generations to come.’