What’s really ‘better’ for the planet? It’s time to sort fact from fiction. We chose three popular environmental mythsthat are trending to examine; it turns out sustainability isn’t quite so simple!
I know what you must be thinking, leaving appliances on standby surely can’t be an environmental myth, can it?
Probably the most well-known of all environmental campaigns is to ‘turn lights off when you leave a room’. On a larger scale, just ‘turning things off’ is the way many people choose to express their environmentalism, but is there more to the story?
Unfortunately, for some appliances, ‘vampire power’ exists. ‘Vampire power’ is the energy equipment continues to use even when it appears to be switched off; this applies to any device that relies on standby power (such as televisions or air conditioners) or an appliance that shows a display, like an alarm clock. In fact, a study showed that an estimated 10% of your energy bill could be attributed to appliances on standby mode.
Our advice would be to switch off any appliance you can, but at the main plug in the wall. Obviously, you’ll need to make an exception for your fridge and likewise, but ovens, digital clocks and televisions can be completely turned off when you don’t need them. The extra inconvenient seconds it takes to turn these on will save power and even impact your monthly bill!
Electric cars may seem like the future of transportation, but they might currently be more of an environmental myth than sustainable reality than you realise.
Many industries have hopped on the green bandwagon and perhaps none more than cars, specifically with electric cars stepping up to the mark. Electric cars are predicted to account for 35% of global new car sales by 2040 which means they’re fast becoming an everyday reality. But is packing in your older model to purchase something new really the best approach?
Although electrical cars are inarguably more sustainable than conventional-fuel vehicles, imagine how much energy is required to actually make the new car in the first place. We did the research for you – it’s 50% more energy-demanding to produce than your run-of-the-mill automobile. A large part of this is due to the high energy and material requirements to produce the battery.
Of course, the extra energy consumption made at the start of the process will be cancelled out in the end by how energy-efficient your new car is. But if you’re someone who uses your car sparingly, it’s important to consider whether keeping with your older model for fewer journeys is the best choice. Alternatively, our advice would always be to opt for public transport or cycling as and when you can.
Another environmental myth that has taken the UK by storm is the trend towards tree-planting. The thought behind it is logical; planting more trees would mean more fossil fuel emissions are absorbed, as well as play a part in counteracting the vast number of trees being cut down.
But, as it’s never quite that simple, trees, after passing their ‘youth’ where they absorb huge amounts of CO2 when growing, eventually reach a point of equilibrium where they emit in respiration as much CO2 as they absorb during photosynthesis. In fact, a tree is most productive, in terms of carbon storage, at ten years old.
Our advice is to thoroughly research tree-planting before taking to it yourself; there is a huge amount to bear in mind from where you plant the tree to what type of tree it is (experts suggest you choose one that’s indigenous to your local area). Likewise, we recommend you don’t worry yourself too much over tree-planting but focus on an impact you can achievable make in your day-to-day life.
To summarise, these environmental myths show that Planet Earth is more complex and connected than we could ever imagine; any small change will have ripple effects across the entire globe, most of which we’ll never know about. This makes it very difficult to assess our impact and decide what lifestyle changes to make.
However, there is one unequivocal fact; change needs to happen and it needs to happen soon. ‘Change’ looks different to everyone, but for you it could be being more sustainable with your clothing choices. Visit https://cariki.co.uk/ to learn more and browse our collection.
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