Thursday, March 01, 2007

Kudos to Ikea

I'm diggin' Ikea today, and it's not just because of their pretty Arv Idyll bowl (above), or their lovely Alvine Flor quilt cover and pillowcases (below).

It's not because of their Bibbi blanket (which I'd love to see unfolded),

or their PS Lomsk swivel chair, also available in blue.

Why am I diggin' Ikea today? It's because of this:

That's right, the compact fluorescent lightbulb, or CFL. The CFL has gotten a lot of press lately due to its incredible energy-saving ability, resulting in lower costs for consumers and fewer demands on the environment.

Now, Ikea didn't invent the CFL. They aren't promoting the CFL. And I have no idea how their CFL prices compare with those of other retailers.

What Ikea does that other retailers do not is this: Ikea recycles the bulbs.

You see, CFL bulbs contain a very small amount of mercury, a neurotoxin especially harmful to children. Now, I really do mean a very small amount, especially compared to the mercury thermometers we used when I was a child. But enough that their presence in the garbage is, in some places, illegal, and regular curbside recycling programs won't take them.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approached a number of major retailers, including WalMart, encouraging them to accept the bulbs at their stores for recycling. So far, the only one that has started such a program is Ikea.

So kudos to Ikea today. I wish they had a store closer than 108 miles away from me. But what the heck--some things are worth the trip.

via NPR's All Things Considered.



geek said...

They are also contracting with Sauders in Archbold to manufacture for this region. More jobs and maybe eventually more stores.

mohairpink said...

Thanks for this bit of education. I had no idea these contained mercury, and here we are encouraged to use them but with no recycling option. It wouldn't be difficult to just save them up (don't they last for ages) and take them back on a yearly Ikea trip.

Di Overton said...

IKEA do some great unexpected items but our store is so big you need a bike to get around.