In 2009 a Swedish company called Nordic Recycling developed a revolutionary way to recycle flourescent tubes and lamps and energy bulbs here on the European continent. Instead of a dry process, a wet method where the lamps are cleansed from their mercury content was used.The air won’t turn contaminated any more this way. Nordic Recycling are quite unique with this process and will start exporting to Portugal next month. Other countries are queing up with interest the company leader Göran Lundholm says. The decrease of mercury spread is one part of it, but they also recycle light powder this way. The mercury lamps are crushed in a tank, the crushed material is then washed in a fluid that oxidizes the mercury and creates slam. This slam containing also soil type metalls from the light powder is then finally taken to a deposit or lamp recycle station. Göran Lundholm is proud since his municipality Hovmantorp now becomes more famous on a wider scale. The new kind of lamps are the low-energy bulbs, the led-bulbs and the halogene bulbs.
About the same time as Nordic Recycling started their new business the World Wildlife Fund, WWF, began a new campaign called Earth Hour. The intention was to pinpoint the importance with considering the world we live in, the waste of natural resources and trying to at least make some improvements. By turning off all lights in a town or country for one hour each year was a way to make a statement and make people more aware of where we are heading. The WWF called this campaign Earth Hour. It started out the first year with only a few places but has quickly grown into a global mass movement. Last year in 2012 1.8 billion people around the world participated and turned off the lights. Tonight it’s time again between 8.30 and 9.30 pm locally.
Naser Mosheh, a politician for the Environment Party the Green in Mariehem, Umeå in northern Sweden explains that they want Earth Hour all year, making people more considerate about the natural resources. In Borås the municipality has asked all the town citizens to turn off the lights tonight and come to the Great Square and watch the night sky for consideration. Borås municipality will turn off the lights on many official buildings, the Government buildings, the churches, schools, Borås Arena, Borås Zoo etc. Nordic Light Hotel in Stockholm will follow the request from the World Wildlife Fund and turn off the lights at half past eight tonight. The Nordic Light Hotel has generally the right policies on this matter. Their raw-material for food and tools are eco-labelled, they have meat-free Mondays and an ecologic breakfast buffet. They also have an ISO-certification. Västerås municipality however will not turn off the official lights tonight. Instead they are changing the old street lighting into new led-lamps instead, from 80 W lamps to 25 W. This will save 7000 kWh a year. But it will take time to change all street lighting in Västerås. There are 11.600 of them. Skellefteå Kraft will turn on the lights in Kenya instead to give children there possibilities to read in the dark, see http://www.givewatts.org.
The Canadian city of Vancouver was the other day given an award at a conference here in Malmoe. It was during the conference Earth Hour City Challenge Award Ceremony that Vancouver, Canada, recieved the title Global Earth Hour Capital 2013. They also won in the class People’s Choice in the web-based competition. Why did they win this year? In Vancouver it’s not obvious to take the car. 245 kilometers of bike paths have been built, and between 2008 and 2011 the bikers in town have increased with 35%. They have a locally produced recycling energy to reduce the spread of carbon dioxide. The intention is to have it reduced with 70% by 2020. All buildings are to be carbon dioxide neutral by 2020 and the amount of green jobs will be doubled. The improvements for taking the bike, bus or train will increase with 50%. That’s the goal. The Swedish city that won the title on a national basis was Uppsala, north of Stockholm. They got the title Swedish Earth Hour City 2013 for their energy-smart, recycling fuels and their climate charter. The other winners this year were the Norwegian capital Oslo, Forli in Italy, San Francisco, USA and New Delhi, India. In 2011 Malmoe was given the title that years Earth Hour Capital. Improvements have no doubt been made. Let’s continue on this path. On y va!
Anders Moberg, March 23d 2013