Woolworths, as part of its pledge to support Earth Hour, is asking customers to safely dispose of used energy saving light bulbs in the specially designed bins in 41 of its national stores. “Energy saving light bulbs need to be disposed of responsibly as the mercury in them can harm the environment. The mercury content in one light bulb is very small, but the dangers of millions of bulbs in landfills throughout the country make it necessary to develop a safe method of disposal,” says Justin Smith, Manager for Woolworths Good business journey. The collection bins in the 41 stores have been specially designed to ensure that there is no danger of CFL lamp breakage, therefore ensuring that there is no risk to the environment. The bins are cleared regularly and the contents are disposed of safely. In time the collection bins will be available in more stores around the country. There are also 2 disposal bins in head office for employees. Woolworths is also showing its support for Earth Hour by: •asking employees to turn off the lights for Earth Hour and become more energy conscious at home. •swapping employees incandescent light bulbs for energy efficient bulbs supplied by Woolworths and Eskom in the week of Earth Hour; and •switching off the lights in head office. “Earth Hour is an important global statement and Woolworths supports it wholeheartedly. The light bulb disposal bins are important in our efforts to ensure we have a safe environment that is sustainable in the long-term.” says Smith. Earth Hour is from 8.30 to 9.30pm on Saturday 28 March 2009. Woolworths and its commitment to reducing energy use: Woolworths, as part of its Good business journey, has committed itself to reducing its relative energy usage by 30% by 2012. “Although our targets are big, we understood from the outset that Woolworths pledge to sustainability would be the sum total of a multitude of initiatives – some small, some very large. We want people to understand that small contributions can make a big difference – because they are generally easy to implement.” says Smith. Ends Editor’s notes More about Earth hour The Earth Hour initiative is a good example of how people can come together to show their support for the planet that we all occupy, and through this, make a difference. Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM to show their support for action on climate change. The event began in Sydney in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights. In 2008, more than 50 million people around the globe participated. In 2009, Earth Hour aimed to reach out to 1 billion people in 1,000 cities. Currently 1,189 cities and towns across 80 countries are committed, with more coming on board every day. Earth Hour Executive Director, Mr Andy Ridley, says Earth Hour is more than just a call to action on climate change. “Earth Hour is an opportunity for the global community to speak in one voice on the issue of climate change, while at the same time coming together in celebration of the one thing every single person on the planet has in common – the planet,” he said.