11 ‘Going Green’ Myths, Busted
Make sure your efforts to go green are actually doing good.
Myth: It’s better to wash dishes by hand
Fact: Use the dishwasher, but stick to full loads, use the pot-scrubber option only if necessary, and hit the no-heat or air-dry option. And chances are, you could be loading your dishwasher wrong.
Myth: Paper is better than plastic. Or, plastic is better than paper.
Fact: Paper and plastic aren’t great choices. Go to the grocery store with your own reusable canvas bags for the greenest shopping experience. When was the last time you cleaned your reusable shopping bag?
Myth: Scour clean every jar you plan to recycle
Fact: Don’t fret over getting that peanut butter jar squeaky clean. Rinse out what you can, then recycle. Or, if it’s a smaller jar, consider reusing it for one of these clever, easy projects.
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Myth: Those ‘paper-only’ blue recycling bins are for only paper
Fact: You can toss in newspapers, cardboard, magazines, envelopes with the plastic windows and even the occasional staple. Do you know what the most recyclable items on the planet are?
Myth: You should always turn off the lights every time you leave the room
Fact: Turn off incandescents if you’re leaving the room for more than five seconds; CFLs, if you’ll be gone at least 15 minutes. Here’s our guide to the many different types of lightbulbs, and how to choose the best ones for your home.
Myth: You don’t really need to unplug small electronic devices
Fact: Unplug. Even easier, plug everything into power strips with on/off switches. Keeping things unplugged is better for the environment—plus, it’ll save you a lot of money. These 30 products under $30 will make your home so much better.
Myth: Washing in cold water won’t get your clothes clean
Truth: Washing your clothes in warm or even cold water will get rid of almost any grime, except for the worst dirt or oily stains. Switch from hot to warm water to cut energy use in half; cold, to cut it even more. Even seasoned homeowners make these laundry mistakes.
Myth: In public restrooms, paper towels are better than hot air dryers
Fact: If there’s a choice, go for the hot air. Here are 8 more super-simple ways to go green without noticing.
Myth: It’s fine to leave your computer on when you leave work for the day
Fact: If you won’t be using your machine for 20 minutes, turn off the monitor. If it won’t be needed for more than two hours, turn off the computer. Here are some other simple habits that’ll lead you to a greener life.
Myth: You’re better off letting your car idle
Fact: Idle for 30 seconds if you must. Any longer than that make sure you turn it off. By the way, make really shouldn’t leave a plastic water bottle in a hot car.
Myth: You should always drive with the windows down/AC off to save on gas
Fact: On the highway, do what feels most comfortable. But around town, try to drive with the window down. Your hair will be a mess, but you’ll save some gas. If you’re on a road trip, try some of these games that adults will want to play too.