The global warming or climate change enthusiasts have created a huge focus on saving the planet by promoting environmentally friendly products. Savvy consumers should be careful not to fall for this marketing gimmick called greenwashing. Many of the products we already use are friendlier to the environment than their so-called green counterparts. Pay close attention to the products claiming to be eco-friendly or green because they may not be as green as they claim. Here are 10 regular products that are already more environmental friendly than their green alternatives.
- Fuel efficient cars – A gas powered car with good fuel efficiency is more likely to be better for the environment than a hybrid. People don’t think about how the electricity is generated when they plug in their car. Most of the electricity in this country comes from coal generated plants, so plugging in your car doesn’t really do much to save the environment.
- Incandescent light bulbs – The standard incandescent light bulbs use more energy, but their fluorescent counterparts are filled with mercury. Does anyone think about the potentially huge environmental hazard of improperly disposing of these mercury filled bulbs? People are just going to throw them in the trash with everything else and this will be a big problem when they quit selling the regular bulbs in 2012.
- Cleaning products – Many eco-friendly cleaning products that claim to be chlorine free contain a myriad of other toxic chemicals that are worse than chlorine. Check labels and be careful of percentages that are based on the number of ingredients rather than volume. The same old products you’ve always used are probably more environmentally friendly.
- Water filter – Using a water filter to make your own bottled water is much better for the environment. All the discarded plastic from bottled water is causing huge problems in garbage collection and landfills.
- Clothesline – Hanging your clothes out on a clothesline is much better than using the most energy efficient dryer you can buy. Using wind and solar power, your clothesline is not only eco-friendly, it’s free. Hang clothes inside during the cold winter months also adds needed humidity to the air.
- Unscented detergent – Many of the green cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that produce a “fresh Scent”. Since some of these chemicals can be carcinogenic, you’re better off using unscented cleaning products.
- Garbage bags – Regular garbage bags are more eco-friendly than their biodegradable counterparts. When the so-called green bags decompose they emit methane into the atmosphere and they don’t decompose any faster than regular plastic bags if they’re covered in the landfill and aren’t exposed to oxygen.
- Paper bags – The choice of using paper or plastic bags has gone back and forth as to which is friendlier to the environment. The thing to keep in mind is that paper is made from trees which are a renewable resource and plastic is made from petroleum which is not. Paper will always be a better choice.
- Leather – Eco-activists are against people using leather because it comes from animals. However, leather products are much more eco-friendly than their petroleum based counterparts. Less energy is used to make leather products and they will decompose when discarded.
- Fur – Some people get very upset when they see someone wearing fur. They don’t realize that the cute little animals that the fur came from are varmints. If allowed to propagate unchecked mink, raccoons, rabbits, beaver and others would cause untold environmental damage.
We all need to use common sense when it comes to protecting the environment. Try not to buy overly packaged products, recycle and use reusable products whenever possible plus be responsible when discarding your trash. We don’t need to go overboard, but just be aware of marketing gimmicks and live sensibly. There is no way people can affect the global climate, but we can limit the amount of pollution we produce and trash that goes into landfills. Do the best you can and educate others to do the same.