May 21st, 2013 by Guest Contributor
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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