June 11, 2007

Going Green

Writing about web page http://economist.com/research/articlesbysubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=7933604&story_id=9210834

Green is all over the place these days. As a responsible citizen of the world, I too want to contribute to the reduction of emission and repair the planet by making little choices in my life that will have a large impact on the planet in the long run. However, as this article will tell you, it ain’t easy. It’s next to impossible to try and figure out which one is more environmentally friendly:

  1. In a car: Air conditioning OR Open windows?
  2. In a toilet: Hand dryer OR Towel dryer OR Paper towels?
  3. In household: Disposable paper plates OR Disposable plastic plates OR Plastic plates OR Ceramic plates that require washing-up liquid and contaminating water?
  4. In household: Washing powder that is one of the hardest things to filter out in the waste water OR Soap powder that is believed to be less efficient in washing and thus requires more of?
  5. In consumerism: reuse Plastic bags OR recycle Paper bags?
  6. In consumerism: buying Home-grown stuff that is closer to you and may help reduce the costs of shipping (as suggested by the Planet Repair project) OR buying Imported products that may be grown in a third world country and help the poor?
  7. In consumerism: neatly Packed products OR dirty and Loose products?
  8. In travel: Trains that require miles of tracks through otherwise healthy rich fields of greenery OR Planes that are oddly becoming cheaper and cheaper, more accessible and more convenient, sometimes replacing several train rides?

There’s many many more ORs in this uneasy quest for environmentally responsible behaviour. The little staggering figures the environmentalists use to convince us that ‘every little helps’ are very utopian. They all come with a big conditional clause: IF. If only there was a unified guidance that would provide simple answers to the environmental questions, the global planet repairs would already have seen some huge results.

- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. In a car: Air conditioning OR Open windows?

    Fact: Air conditioning makes the air cooler.

    Fact: We’re having problems with global warming

    Solution: Use both. The air will be conditioned when it floods out of the car and will therefore contribute to global cooling.

    How’s that for science!?

    11 Jun 2007, 13:17

  2. 5’s easy – neither, use a fabric bag millions of times.

    11 Jun 2007, 13:58

  3. Alex

    Most of the above are actually pretty clear cut (although some of your ‘this or that’ turns into ‘neither’). There’s long been a debate about point 1 though – I did read some good answers in NewScientist’s The Last Word – link – if you can see it (you may need to be a subscriber, I’m not sure).

    11 Jun 2007, 18:09

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