Australia gets a little greener


We've been thinking eco lately, with blogs about how small changes in the way companies like Google and Wal-Mart run their businesses could save mondo megawatts every year. Now, it looks like a whole country is getting into the act: Australia has just announced a ban on incandescent light bulbs, to be completed phased out and replaced by more efficient fluorescent bulbs by 2010. That little change, according to their environmental minister, could cut the country's greenhouse gas output by as much as 4 million tons annually.

They make a good point: regular light bulbs, designed in the 19th century by engineers like Thomas Edison and Joseph Swann, are stuck in the stone age compared to the rest of our technology. They waste massive amounts of energy radiating useless heat, and energy-efficient bulbs use somewhere on the order of 20% as much electricity. Another fun tidbit: also according to Australia's top enviro guy, "If the whole world switches to these bulbs today, we would reduce our consumption of electricity by an amount equal to five times Australia's annual consumption of electricity." I'd love to know how switching to energy efficient bulbs compares with driving energy efficient cars in terms of greenhouse gas output -- anyone have any leads?