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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Going Green: Facts & Myths

As we mark Earth Hour, we're reminded of our collective responsibility in caring for the planet. After all, if the environment founders, so do we.

There are many claims out there on how best to live an environmentally-friendly life. You'll be surprised how many of them are misunderstood, or just plain wrong. Some of them, of course, are true. Which is which?

1. Off is not OFF
Stock Xchng (Stock Xchng)

Claim: Turning devices off is enough.

Fact: Not exactly. Perhaps especially relevant to Earth Hour, the truth is quite a few electrical appliances continue to draw power even after the switch is flipped to the 'off' position. This occurence is (very appropriately) termed 'vampire power'. To be really sure, unplug them from their sockets too.

2. Recycled versus Virgin
AP File Photo (AP File Photo)

Claim: Recycled paper beats 'virgin paper' (paper freshly produced from trees) in environmental love

Fact: Depends. If the recycling plant relies on inefficient and polluting power sources (eg. coal power plant), then you should probably go for virgin paper.

3. Dangerous moos
AP File Photo (AP File Photo)

Claim: Cows play a major role in climate change

Fact: Yes. Well, not them per se, but rather their burps and farts - these release methane gas. Livestock, including the moo-ers, is blamed for 18 percent of global greenhouse gases. One cow is thought to be capable of producing 25 to 130 gallons of methane daily.

4. Power through sun and wind
AP File Photo (AP File Photo)

Claim: Wind and solar power are the answers to our energy needs and anti-climate-change efforts.

Fact: Probably not. Solar is still very, very expensive - about two to three times the cost of coal power. And wind isn't that dependable - if/when the wind dies down, so does the electricity.

5.Paper versus plastic
AP File Photo (AP File Photo)

Claim: Paper bags are more environmentally-friendly than plastic bags

Fact: Not true. The production of paper bags takes 40 percent more energy and results in more air/water pollution. Also, consider the energy costs in their transportation - they're bulkier than their plastic counterparts. Your best bet? Fabric shopping bags that can be reused.

6. Plant trees, save the world?
AP File Photo (AP File Photo)

Claim: Plant trees in cities to fight global warming

Fact: Doesn't quite work that way. Trees planted in cities require regular maintenance. This is your typical gardening work but on a much larger scale. City workers would have to drive around in trucks to prune trees with chainsaws. All that activity releases carbon. So as time goes by, the benefits of trees are offset by the costs of tree maintenance.

7. Overrated Hybrids
AP File Photo (AP File Photo)

Claim: Hybrid cars are far more fuel-efficient

Fact: Not exactly. Hybrid cars use one conventional engine and one electric motor. The idea being that the conventional engine charges the electric motor as it runs. Unfortunately, having both in one car weighs it down a bit. The result? The car requires more energy (and thus potentially more fuel) to move about.

Source from: MSN


missSenget said...


nice info... :)

shereena said...

gud info!keep it up^^

-Incek Fik- said...

Hahaa.. Cow's poop play a major in releasing methane gas? Sounds like funny but it fact!

Nancy Poh said...

Cow??..whoa..that's something new to me..

ArryCode said...

Useful tips and good knowledge of the community about the importance of keeping the earth and the environment

Mr Strider said...

im participate in earth hour switcing off the all electricity for 5 hour coz im outside..hehehe