Green Myths Busted!

Written by  Lisa Highfill
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We all know there is a lot of information online telling you how to go green, well here are some things they are telling you that are false.

Driving Speed Is Most Efficient At 55MPH

Almost every single GREEN list tells you that 55MPG is the magic number, by by most estimates this is simply incorrect. There are many reasons why, one being that every vehicle is different; some people have huge monster SUVs (although they shouldn't) and some have super efficient cars.

The best advice is to maintain consistent speeds and when increasing do so gradually, your motor will thank you as well.

Cans Or Bottles?

This is a tricky question and most writers out there just choose one and go with it because both choices have great arguments. We feel that the BEST choice is to drink drinks that are in glass bottles and local because glass is easily recycled (so is aluminum) and the fact that it is made closer to home means you will be benefiting the environment reducing the non-renewable fossil fuels used in transportation.

Another reason we like glass versus aluminum is due to the fact that glass is made from an abundant resource of sand and limestone and the energy used in the manufacturing process is less energy intensive compared to the extensive process from bauxite to aluminum.

Leave The Computer In Sleep Mode Or Shut It Down?

There is a horrible rumor circling in the tech world, but they are techies and although we LOVE them we must interfere and do our job (Being Green Experts, haha). Turning something off saves MUCH more energy, why? Because when you have something unplugged NO electricity enters the machinery and when you have it plugged in the electricity is still going in. End of discussion on our part.

Paper or Plastic?

So in our opinion neither is better and both sides HIGHLY debatable and with a lot of science to prove it.

From our research we found that the plastic production process generates less water, less air pollution, and less solid waste than paper. In addition the bags take up less landfills. However there is another equally convincing argument.

Paper bags trump plastic in the renewable resources arena because paper is made from renewable trees not oil or gas. Oh, and paper is more a more commonly accepted recyclable material. One more fat, paper is more biodegradable and less likely to upset our eco-systems, just try to get chemical and bleach free paper products.

So which one is it? We give paper 9 stars and plastic 6... the winner is obvious!

To turn off the engine while driving or just idle?

The California Air Resource Board and U.S. Federal Environmental Protection Agency both agree that when you are in a running vehicle and not moving it is better to turn the vehicle off. Over a period of nine minutes a car that is idling will produce double the pollutants of a car that is turned off and then restarted.

Microwaves or Ovens?

This is something we feel we need to mention but inevitably there are many ways to view this delimma and we are passionate about both.

Environmentally:

Microwaves are more efficient than ovens and use electricity more efficiently (meaning more energy going to food than being wasted). Some people are worried about the nuclear waves and studies have shown that this is all a myth (we are skeptical). Bottom line, microwaves use less energy and are better for the planet.

Health:

Why are we skeptical? Well food should not be heated up at the rate that microwaves go about their business, nuclear power or not... it is not good and we lose a ton of nutrients in our food. We personally believe there is radiation emitted, we might be crazy, but our gut tells us different and we believe in following your gut.

So in conclusion we are going to favor the health side of the spectrum and dismiss the environment for a minute because if you look at the numbers you will find that toaster ovens and conventional ovens use more energy than microwaves, but if you use the bigger oven wisely and rely on the toaster oven for the smaller jobs you will be conserving energy and staying healthy!

Sometimes you have to be smart and try to compromise, but compromise doesn't always have to be bad just do it right.

Diapers: Cloth or Disposable?

This one, we believe is up to the parent. Why? Because there are SO many studies out there proving each other wrong and a lot of those studies were well done. In our opinion both choices produce the same footprint, just in a different way (landfills or water waste).

Train or Car?

56% percent of Americans take their long distance trips in personal vehicles while only 1% travel by train. The Union of Concerned Scientist say that a train is much better than vehicles because more people can travel by train rather than in a car.

If the numbers above were reversed global warming, air pollution, water pollution, and habitat alteration would not be a huge issue as it is today.

Lisa Highfill

Lisa Highfill

Lisa was born in South Carolina and moved to Georgia at a young age. She graduated from Georgia State University in 2010 with a major in Psychology and a focus in Environmental Psychology.

In school Lisa volunteered with Environment Georgia and the Atlanta Beltline.

Lisa believes that a continued education is pertinent to living sustainability and having a hand in making a change for the better.

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1 Comment

  • Comment Link Jake Monday, 31 January 2011 18:51 posted by Jake

    awesome article! i love it!

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