Are you as green as you thought?
There are many terms that describe the guidelines, behaviors and lifestyles that refer to minimizing harm to the environment. Both for people and business you’ve may heard terms such as environmentally friendly, eco-friendly, nature-friendly, environmentally conscious and green among many others.
But what do they mean in the 21st century? It means to opt for a sustainable and renewable way of living, focusing our life on reducing, reusing and recycling whenever possible. It is a gradual process that changes your life and aims to reduce the imprint you leave on the environment.
Here are some examples of why you might not be as green as you thought:
Buying only organic:
Organic food has become a trend nowadays because people believe it is healthier for their organisms and better for the environment. Nonetheless, a study from Stanford University says something different. They didn’t found strong evidence that suggested organic foods are more nutritious or carry fewer health risks than conventional alternatives, although it can reduce the risk of pesticide exposure.
Also, there is a lower land-use-efficiency. According to a study published in Nature Magazine overall organic yields are typically lower than conventional yields and organic farming uses “green” pesticides but their excessive use ends up having toxic effects on the environment.
Genetically modified organisms refer to crops that have had a gene inserted in the laboratory to give them a desired trait. There’s an ongoing debate on whether GMO’s are safe or not safe to eat, as s 2015 Pew Research Center survey showed scientists from the American Association for the Advancement of Science we’re unable to agree. But speaking in environmentalist terms GMO’s reduce the use of pesticides by 37% and one of the reasons farmers go back to organic or conventional growing is economic, they get more profit because people pay more for non-GMO.
Being anti-nuclear energy
Speaking of climate change solutions nuclear energy has to be an option among other of renewables. Off course there are some problems with nuclear energy like waste and the health effects if accidents happen. But nuclear power has become safer both in its production and containment. Also, scientists have found ways to process radioactive waste like turning it into glass through vitrification, which results in a durable and non-leaching product.
More so, according to Dr. James Conca a geochemist and energy expert nuclear power can be both a renewable and sustainable energy source. In an article for Forbes he explains how extracting uranium form seawater can become in the next decades a commercially viable alternative that could produce 10 trillion kWhs/year for thousands of years.
To be a good environmentalist people need to be more skeptical about the information they’re unquestioningly accepting as true, because not everything labelled as green is really environmentally friendly.
In the next few weeks we will be exploring the impacts of our consumer choices in the environment and giving you some tips for becoming a more environmentally conscious person.