I’ve been helping people go green for almost 18 years now. There are days when I have renewed hope and days when I feel totally disenfranchised and want to give up!
A lot of the time when I talk to people I am shocked by how many myths and misconceptions there are floating around when it comes to the topic of going green, so, here are 5 Myths About Going Green That I Am Sick Of Hearing.
NUMBER 1- GOING GREEN IS EXPENSIVE
This is true for certain things like eating organic food. But making your own cleaning products will save you a lot of money. Money you can use to buy organic food!
Installing a water filter and ditching bottled water also save you a ton of cash. So does switching paper napkins for cloth napkins. Same goes for paper towel, in fact, you can save more than $400 every year if you opt out of paper towel and choose reusable cloths instead. If you are installing solar panels, yes they will cost more upfront but will end up saving you big in the long run.
NUMBER 2 – COMPACT FLUORESCENT BULBS CONTAIN MERCURY SO THEY ARE NOT THAT GREEN
CFL’s contain about 4 milligrams of mercury, less than a battery or a watch! That thermometer you put in your mouth has about 500 milligrams and the last time I checked, no one was sucking on a light bulb. CFL’s are much better than incandescent bulbs, they use two-thirds less electricity.
NUMBER 3 – SMALL ACTS DON’T MATTER, SO WHY BOTHER!
If everyone in the USA alone chose to buy ONE package of recycled napkins instead of the ones made from new paper, we would save about one million trees!
NUMBER 4 – I RECYCLE, THAT’S GOOD ENOUGH
No, it’s not. I call these people lazy environmentalists. Recycling makes us feel good and while I do agree that we need to recycle as much as we can, it should not be the first action you take. REDUCE. REUSE. These should be the first lines of defense. Also keep in mind that a lot of the stuff we think can be recycled, actually can’t, like paper cups lined with plastic.
NUMBER 5 – I DONATE MY USED CLOTHING SO IT’S OKAY TO CONSUME FAST FASHION
In Canada, the average person throws out 81 pounds of textiles annually, while North Americans send 9.5 million tonnes of clothing to the landfill every year.
Most people don’t know it, but the charities and companies that collect and sort reusable clothing also accept un-wearable textiles, such as clothing that is torn, ripped or stained. Textiles get sorted and graded to be sold for reuse here in Canada or to be shipped overseas for reuse. Textiles that aren’t in wearable condition (even single shoes!) are bundled up and sent to textile recyclers in the US to break down the fabrics into their original threads.
Although most people report donating used textiles to charity for reuse, 85% of used textiles are ending up in the landfill instead.
Related post: 5 Clothing Recycling Mistakes You May Be Making