When you decide to go green and adopt a sustainable lifestyle,
you might think that some of the biggest steps you can take in the
right direction are doing things like buying a hybrid car, dropping
meat from your diet or using eco-friendly products. But over the
years, we have been inundated with “green” messages that are
easily taken for granted, and some of them are filled with
misinformation. So to help you go green the right way, here is a
list of seven of the biggest sustainable living
myths that are easily busted.
You need to buy a green car
If you are considering buying a new vehicle, you would think
that it makes sense for someone living a green lifestyle to opt for
a small, efficient model with low CO2 emissions and killer gas
The truth is, when a company makes a new car, it has to mine and
process the necessary metals and assemble the components, and that
takes a ton of energy. An expert at the Stockholm Environment
Institute claimed that producing a modern car causes approximately
8 tons of CO2, which is the same as driving 23,000 miles.
This means that the greener option might be to
stick with your current car instead of buying a new one. To
make your vehicle more fuel-efficient, get it regularly serviced,
keep the tires properly inflated and consolidate your trips.
A vegetarian diet is best for the planet
Foods made from animal products usually have a higher carbon
footprint than plant-based foods, so it’s easy to believe that
switching to a vegetarian diet is good
for the environment. However, if you are making up your calories by
consuming dairy, you might be canceling out any gains you made by
cutting out meat. Here’s why — some dairy products are more
“carbon intensive” than meats. Things that take a lot of milk
to produce — like hard cheese — can actually have a bigger
carbon footprint per kilo than chicken. So if you really want your
diet to reduce emissions, go vegan.
A home should only have efficient appliances
We are constantly told that we should buy energy-efficient
appliances if we want to be environmentally friendly and keep our
footprint in check. What you may not know is that there are
other ways you can lower your carbon footprint without dropping a
ton of cash on new appliances.
If you simply stop running your washer, dryer and dishwasher
during the day — instead, turn them on before you go to bed —
you can make a huge difference. The reason is that electricity
consumption is at its highest in the daytime, and that means the
dirtiest, least-efficient power stations are used to help meet
demand. But at night, they can switch off those stations, and each
unit of electricity has a lower carbon footprint. If buying
energy-efficient appliances isn’t part of your budget, use your
current ones at night to help spread the load on the electricity
Detergent is the most harmful part of the laundry cycle
When it comes to doing laundry, choosing eco-friendly detergents
that are rapidly biodegradable, have
low toxicity and feature plant-based ingredients
are definitely more favorable to the environment. But did you know
that the biggest factor in your laundry footprint is the process of
heating the water? This means that you can effectively cut your
emissions by using low-temperature laundry cycles and using hot
water sparingly when washing clothes.
Incandescent bulbs are disappearing
Over the past couple of decades, we have seen Light Emitting
and Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs revolutionize
energy-efficient lighting. This led to the rumor that incandescent
bulbs were going away and would disappear from the marketplace.
This is simply not true. You don’t have to hoard incandescent
bulbs, and you don’t have to buy the more expensive bulb options.
Instead, manufacturers have been phasing out certain models and
replacing them with more energy-efficient versions. The bulbs last
longer, but the lighting stays the same.
It’s impossible to avoid disposable plastic
It’s no secret that single-use plastics are
everywhere and a major contributor to climate change. It seems like
everything we buy is packaged in single-use plastic, and then we
tote all of those items home in plastic bags.
But it’s not impossible to cut disposable plastic out of your
life, you just have to plan ahead. Stock up on reusable bags, water
bottles, coffee mugs, utensils and food containers, and before you
leave your house, take what you need with you.
Most restaurants are happy to fill up your reusable containers
instead of using their packaging. When you hit the coffee shop or need to
hydrate with water, you can use your reusable mugs and bottles
instead of the single-use cups.
Take your reusable bags with you to the grocery store, and stay
on the lookout for items that aren’t packaged in plastic. You might not be
able to cut plastics out completely, but you can make a big dent in
your everyday use with a little bit of preparation.
Green labels are always true
Opting for eco-friendly products at the store might seem like an
easy task. All you have to do is find something marked
“eco-friendly,” “green,” “natural” or
“biodegradable.” The truth is that those terms are
not regulated and have no clearly defined standards. Just
because a product has an eco-friendly label doesn’t necessarily
mean that’s the case.
Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
7 of the biggest eco-friendly and green living myths