How much would you pay to save the planet?

Waste Management Corporation’s “EarthMate” compact fluorescent light bulbs come in a postage-paid box so you can send them back for recycling after they’ve burned out. Included is a “Mercury VaporLok” container so that there will be no mercury spill if the light bulb breaks in transit.

Lloyd Alter at TreeHugger.com likes the idea, but adds this caveat:

Of course, this costs money; they are charging $34 for a four-pack of bulbs, where Home Depot is selling 14 bulbs for $40 and offers recycling. That is too big a spread.

If Mr. Alter really cared about the environment, this price difference would be a small price to pay.  Environmentalists talk a good game, but it’s mostly just talk.  Only 2% of compact fluorescent light bulbs are recycled in the United States, even though they contain mercury, a dangerous neurotoxin and one of the most toxic chemicals known to man.

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