Dirty Energy & Fuel Green business table via Shutterstock

Published on May 21st, 2013 | by Guest Contributor


4 Green Myths Debunked

Green business table via Shutterstock

Green business table via Shutterstock

Going green is a much talked about topic. All kinds of rumors and false ideas are circulating about the environment and the actions we can take to help it. Here are 5 green myths debunked.

1. Going Green is More Expensive

Many are under the impression that everything green is expensive. It is quite the contrary. Granted, organic food and products of such are more pricey than “conventional” food. But going green extends beyond nutrition. And, in fact, if you’re no tree hugger and if no one can convince you that environmental issues are crucial, the one argument that could turn you is that going green is thrifty. Many environmental activists are using the money angle to convince people of adopting a greener lifestyle. You can save money on a ton a things: Energy bills, grocery bills, car related expenses, etc.

2. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Are The Best Option

While they undoubtedly last much longer than conventional incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent light bulbs pose various ecological problems. Many myths circulated about them causing migraines or being a threat to health because of the mercury they contain. But what is truly scary about CFLs can be summed up in one question: What are we going to do with them all at the end of their useful life? CFLs made an entry into our domestic lives no more than 10 years ago. With a useful life that can last up to 50,000 hours, most of the bulbs currently used are not at the end of their useful life yet. Sooner rather than later, millions of compact fluorescent light bulbs will end up in the trash, all in the same time. While the mercury doesn’t compare to that coming from coal-fired power plants, it’s still mercury, and we have to do something with ut.

A much better solution is LED lights. More efficient, longer lasting, and no toxic residue. Here’s a great video showcasing the difference between LED and CFL.

3. Organic Food Is always the Greener Choice

If your organic food was shipped then trucked all the way from Costa Rica, its transportation causes a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, organic may not always be the greener choice. The ideal is to pair organic with local, of course, but when that is not an option, what do you do?

Economists will argue that choosing organic helps build a market demand, and that local farmers and producers will move to fill that demand. If local farmers are using GMO seeds and tons of pesticides, and they know that you’ll buy their stuff just because it’s local, what’s the economic incentive for them to stop destroying the world with GMOs? So, not a clear choice, but organic does not ALWAYS mean the greenest option.

4. Recycling Will Save the World

It’ll help it a lot, yes, and thank goodness for recycling. But we should not rely only on it. Recycling factories, depending on the material they recycle, use incredible amount of energy and of water to process the recycled material. What is the solution, then? Remember that “Recycling” come third in the three “Rs”: Reduce, Reuse, and then, only, Recycle. We should keep in mind that the best environmental initiative is to consume less and to come up with many upcycling ideas for our everyday items.

Mireille is a travel, music and theater enthusiast. She wrote for the stage and television, and is now working as a freelance blogger for Via Rail, a Canadian railroad transporter helping travelers finding the best Montreal packages and getaways.

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  • steve

    Comment to Zachary: often, science has disagreements within its ranks as concepts are developed. If one doesn’t agree with a sound-bite statement, they often label it as “misinformation”, especially if they are a layman.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Not really sure what your point is here. BS is BS. I’ve seen and dug into enough of it to know it when I see it.

  • steve

    Like many topics, being a net conserver of energy isn’t as easy as it sounds. I’ve seen analysis of CO2 generation by vehicles cradle-to-grave that show that a Hummer generates less CO2 over its lifetime than a Prius. This is due to the difficulty of manufacturing batteries and disposing of them as well.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Unfortunately, that’s a widely repeated myth generated by someone doing junk science. Numerous more realistic studies have found the opposite.

  • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

    Unfortunately, for B.S. lovers, we don’t tolerate boatloads of misinformation and deceit (or spam) on this site. Enjoy your day, but don’t drop B.S. here. :D

  • http://twitter.com/EricsBizTweets EricsBizTweets

    The CFL makes the incandescent light bulb look really good especially given that the incandescent bulb does not contain ANY significant quantities of toxic chemicals, unlike CFLs.

    Also, organic farming isn’t the best choice at all. In order to grow the same amount of organic produce in comparison to regular produce, you need to farm significantly more land (because half the crop will fail without the use of pesticides or insecticidal soaps), which in some cases requires significantly more deforestation than if modern farming methods were implemented.

    Batteries for cars….well, its not all that environmentally friendly afterall. The chemicals contained in those batteries aren’t that good for the environment and they eventually have a huge impact on wildlife/groundwater if left in a landfill after their lifetime: sulfuric acid is one very common battery component… And most batteries end up in a landfill because they can’t be reused. What uses batteries? Electric cars, hybrid cars, your solar powered generator or solar collector, that wind or water turbine you set up last Christmas to finally get your house off the power grid, and your cell phone..you know, that contraption you read your paperless billing statements on? Yeah.

    Recycling….yes, its a good thing. But isn’t the majority of what we recycle biodegradable anyway? How about we recycle more of the non-biodegradable stuff.

  • Ajay

    Greener is better! I have been following Schneider (https://www.facebook.com/SchneiderElectricITBusinessIndia) and that I have learned!

    • http://twitter.com/EricsBizTweets EricsBizTweets

      Greener isn’t better. It’s just the guise of a more rustic lifestyle, which isn’t always good.

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