Deconstructing the Cardinal Rules of Green Living

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When it comes to living an eco-friendly lifestyle, there are a few “rules” that most environmentalists hold dear. Purchasing an electric car, buying energy efficient appliances and adopting a vegetarian diet are just three tips consumers will commonly run across during their research. Still, these messages are worth a second look, as the advice is a little more complicated than it appears at first glance.

Myth 1: You Should Trade in Your Car for a Greener Model

If your old vehicle is on the verge of a breakdown, you should obviously seek out an energy efficient car when it comes time to find a replacement. However, it is important to remember that the process of building an automobile takes an incredible amount of energy. Therefore, it is often better to continue using your current vehicle, even if it is not a hybrid or electric model, than it is to purchase a new one when it isn’t truly necessary.

Myth 2: A Vegetarian Lifestyle is Best

In general, meat products take a much greater toll on the planet than plant products. As a result, a vegetarian lifestyle is often touted as the answer to a number of environmental issues. However, some dairy products actually have quite a large carbon footprint; for example, the production of hard cheese is tougher on the Earth than many meat products, including chicken. Still, eliminating certain foods, like beef, from your diet is a good environmental choice, particularly if you try to limit the amount of dairy products you consume as well.

Myth 3: Energy Efficient Appliances are a Necessity

Obviously, owning an energy efficient appliance will cut down on your carbon footprint. You can make do, however, with your regular dishwasher and laundry machine if you are smart about how you use them. For example, turning the machines on in the evening can help you reduce your environmental impact. There isn’t as much demand for electricity at that time, so only the most efficient power stations are utilized.

Myth 4: Always Support Local Companies

One of the benefits of buying local is that goods don’t have to be transported long distances. However, it is important to take other factors into account as well. For example, perhaps there is an El Paso pest control company in a neighboring town that utilizes integrated pest management techniques. It may be worth hiring them instead of the company in your own town, particularly if they use a less environmentally-friendly approach. Considering how far services or products have to travel is obviously a valid concern, but there are other issues at hand as well.

As you begin your journey toward living a greener life, it is important to resist the urge to take the information you read at face value. Research the topic at hand and make educated choices about what is best for you, your family and the Earth.

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