In the information age, it becomes hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to choosing greener alternatives for daily use. Here are five of the major myths out there, with some facts to bust them so your choice to go green can be a little easier.
1. ‘Green’ choices are painful and expensive
While some greener options (like some organic products) do cost more, others (like turning out lights, using water-saving faucets and energy-efficient light bulbs, and keeping the thermostat at a reasonable temperature) are money-smart strategies, too.
2. Keeping old appliances is ‘greener’ than buying new
It is true that you won’t be adding to the problem of overflowing landfills, however keeping the older appliances isn’t necessarily the greenest choice. Make sure to replace your appliances with moderately priced alternatives.
3. If an appliance is off, it’s not using power
Experts suggest that up to 10 per cent of a power bill goes towards running appliances that have already been turned off. This is the energy a machine keeps using so that it can pop on quickly when you flip the switch. Don’t feel like plugging and unplugging every time you want to use the computer or play the stereo? Use a power strip, taking care not to overload a single one. Then, when you’re not using the item, flip the switch on the strip, and you’ll know that everything is well and truly turned off.
4. Hybrid vehicles are automatically better than non-hybrids
Some hybrid cars, like the Toyota Prius or the Honda Civic get some of the best mileage results, but manufacturers now offer SUVs and trucks that use hybrid technology and the mileage on those often is not much better than the non-hybrid version of the same vehicle. In fact, in a lot of cases, a non-hybrid car might actually use less fuel and produce less pollution. It’s important to look at the mileage as well as the technology.
5. The cost of commuting is a fixed expense
Not really. How would you like to get 10 to 50 per cent more fuel every week for free? Regular tune-ups will boost your mileage. A new air filter can add to your mileage. Keeping your tyres properly inflated (not over or under) can give you more mileage too. This doesn’t even take into account solutions like carpooling with a spouse, or sharing a ride with a co-worker or friend.