Forget Ghostbusters. Today, I’m fighting popular green myths to help you get started on going green. With all the misinformation out there, it’s important to zero in on effective ways to Do Your Part to save money, save resources, and live healthier. Here are my ‘Top 7 Green Mythbusters.’
1) Organic Is The Only Way To Go
False! Organic is one good option when food shopping because it means the food or produce was not created or grown with synthetic chemical pesticides or insecticides. However, locally grown foods are another important way to be eco-friendly. Those foods are from farms within a few hundred miles and are not shipped from around the world to get to your table.
2) If It Says It’s Green, It Must Be Green
Not quite. Terms like “eco-friendly”, “green”, and even “natural” are not regulated and have no defined standards. “Biodegradable” is another. Most products destined for the landfill will not biodegrade in our lifetime. Go to DoYourPart.com/Columns for specific information on labels you can trust.
3) If You Don’t Have A Hybrid, You Aren’t Being Eco-Friendly
Not so fast. If you need a new car, hybrids are a smart option. If your car doesn’t need to be upgraded, you can make it more fuel-efficient. Getting your car regularly serviced, keeping your tires properly inflated, and consolidating your driving trips will maximize fuel efficiency. Also, when you do decide to buy, fuel efficiency should be top of mind.
4) Disinfectants Can’t Be Natural
Not true. Unless you’re Oscar the Grouch, germs probably aren’t your thing but you don’t have to resort to chemical warfare to disinfect. Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are safer and inexpensive options. Vinegar can be used on everything except marble. Hydrogen peroxide is ideal in the bathroom for fighting mold and mildew.
5) Incandescent Bulbs Are Going Away
Stop hoarding because incandescent bulbs are not going away. While some manufacturers are phasing out certain models, many are being replaced with more energy efficient versions. The lighting will be the same, the bulbs will just last longer.
6) What Goes Down The Storm Drain Will Be Filtered
Not so. Everything from excess fertilizer to used motor oil can wind up in storm drains. Unlike what goes down the drain at home, this stuff isn’t filtered before heading into our streams, creeks, and eventually our oceans. It’s critical to properly dispose of household hazardous waste.
7) If An Electronic Is Off, It Isn’t Using Power
Wrong. ‘Phantom power’ is the energy used by electronics and appliances that aren’t even on and adds up to 10% of the energy we use at home. Devices with a remote or continuous display fall into this category, as do most chargers. Unplug your devices or use a power strip or similar device that will let you cut off power with the touch of a switch.
Clearing up the confusion when it comes to going green will help you cut down on wasted resources and money. That way, you can begin to Do Your Part today.
Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, eco-expert and author of Do Your Part: A practical guide for everyday green living available at DoYourPart.com. Send questions to email@example.com