I was very pleased to read this week that Australia has banned incandescent bulbs in favor of the more energy-efficient compact-flourescent (CF) bulbs. This is definitely a step in the right direction and I truly hope that other countries will follow suit.
On that note, I was a bit disappointed when I tuned to the evening news, where this story was getting quite a bit of coverage. Of course, the news was applauding Australia's move, and questioned whether or not the City of Toronto or even Ontario or Canada would introduce similar measures. And why not? It's a fairly easy way to go green without causing too much inconvenience. Unfortunately, we have a few hurdles. First of all, I don't know of too many people who would jump at the chance of replacing their incandescents with CFs if their incandescents are still going strong. Secondly, CFs cost more than incandescent bulbs. Last, but not least, many people don't like the awkward non-bulb-like shapes of the CFs available on the market today. Well, never worry, never fear, our good friend from Sweeden, Ikea, sells CFs that have our nice little familiar incandescent bulb shape.
My solution is of course to put a plan in place similar to Australia's incandescent bulb ban and in addition to that, to subsidize CF costs. If CFs were a little more cost-effective than incandescents, it would definitley be an easier sell.
It's unfortunate how many people don't go green because they're just not willing to sacrifice their creature comforts for the planet's well-being. There are so many little things here and there that can be done to make sure that we don't wipe ourselves off the planet, yet, we're too used to being given the choice to buy the big useless SUV to drive in the city, or to jack the heat way up in the winter because we can. People can be really selfish, and sometimes we just need to give them a good kick in the ass and force them to do things the right way rather than give them a choice. A sad, but unfortunate reality.