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Eight misconceptions about going green

Over the past few years, there has been a lot of media coverage on ‘greenwashing.’

Companies are falling over themselves to demonstrate that they are environmentally friendly, but the truth is, a lot of companies are spending more time and money claiming to be green through marketing and advertising, then actually implementing green practices to minimise the environmental impact.

There are many practices which are both effective and environmentally friendly. However sometimes the truth can be cloudy, which makes it difficult to separate fact from fiction.

We’ve long been led to believe that biofuels are good for the environment. The alternative energy source has long been praised for being carbon-neutral because the plants it is made from absorb carbon dioxide, which causes global warming. However new research has found that biofuels are ‘worse than petrol’ for the environment. Rather than combating the effects of global warming, biofuels could be making the condition worse. The research found that that crops used for biofuels absorb only 37% of the CO2 that is later released into the atmosphere when the plants are burnt – meaning the process actually increases the amount of greenhouse gas in the air.

It seems like anything and everything has “gone green” these days. From electric cars, to LED lighting. Electric cars are renowned for having a smaller environmental impact than conventional vehicles, and LED lights are up to 80% more efficient than traditional light, which reduces the demand for power plants and decreases gas emissions. However the truth is many of these ‘eco-friendly’ practices are doing more harm to the environment than we originally might think.

The good news is that there are alternatives. Instead of biofuels, maybe we should make more use of Solar panels? These can convert sunlight directly into energy that people can use and can result in 200 to 300 times as much usable energy per hectare for vehicle transport compared to bioenergy. Here are eight misconceptions of going green – what we know, what we don’t know and the greener alternative.

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