The impact of being environmentally friendly can really help the future of our planet, but some things we do aren’t as helpful as they may first appear.
We all want to be more environmentally friendly and save the planet, but are is trying so desperately to be friendly to the environment actually be hurting it?
Sometimes the things that we look at as being green any environmentally friendly may not actually be so good for the environment at all. For example, we are all trying to reduce the number of single use plastics. But then we need to consider the number of single use objects we would use and if creating one single reusable item is actually better for the environment.
Take a straw for example, which was at one time the most controversial single use plastic item. The most common item that people think they need to remove and used metal straws, but is it really better to carry a metal straw with you everywhere you go?
Of course, there is also an environmental impact of producing a metal straw, then costs in washing the straw with water resources and detergents in the soap we use and wash down the drain, into waterways.
The thing we use got all the attention, but isn’t it weird that at fast food restaurants we get a lot of packaging along with the food, but didn’t think much about it? Most of that packaging is going to be thrown away and like do we actually recycle everything?
The good thing is a lot of packaging is recycled paper, but things like sauce packets and drinks lids are still made from plastic. If we were to recycle all of the paper that we used when getting our food, then could we end up spending more money and expanding more resources than if we didn’t use that paper in the first place? All of the colours and dyes used in the paper for the rappers must be removed before recycling, but it’s not necessarily a problem in strictly paper items.
Environmentally Friendly Cars
Driving an environmentally friendly car is definitely something that looks great and sounds great. Let’s take a look at the Tesla for an example because we have mentioned them a few times already.
Once cool thing with Teslas is you can get a cool app that shows you the carbon footprint of electricity you charge it with. Even if you’re using 100% renewable energy to charge up, it still takes a lot of energy to create the batteries for Teslas. With all of the nickel cadmium and rare Astar required to make the batteries there is a big drain put onto the environment. Also, I’m in the production of said Teslas, the energy used may not come from renewable or green sources.
Same goes for the bodywork and interior parts probably made from recycled materials, but there isn’t full disclosure of the information about exactly what materials the Tesla is made out of. The fact they still use plastics, newly mined metals and propable not 100% fossil fuel free power in the factories, this goes some way to negating how eco friendly they are.
Is the energy used to create an eco car more than to create a regular car? This is the thing that we need to answer and understand to really know if our environmentally friendly ways are having a positive impact.
Perhaps the one area we can be almost sure that we are having we are having a positive impact is in power generation. But then again, even there questions should be asked around the initial creation of the power stations.
No doubt, it takes resources to build wind turbines. It could be to the production of the metals for towers and blades, rare earth metals needed in all kinds of parts and components.
There are also power stations that use hydroelectric dams to generate electricity. These require huge amounts of concrete and concrete requires huge amounts of energy and releases a lot of CO2 during production, but then there are findings saying they reabsorb a lot of CO2 after construction which is interesting.
Nuclear power may not be regarded as renewable by many, but it can do a good job as a halfway house between now and renewable energy becoming much more efficient. There is much less in the way of radioactive fuel that must be put on the ground than would be carbon emissions produced or even carbon grabbed and then put in the ground.
The problem that many people have with nuclear power however, is that it is seen as not being terribly safe. With recent disasters such as the Fukushima power plant disaster making people sit up and take notice of the dangers that nuclear power can bring.
So there we have it. By all means we are not saying to stop trying to be environmentally friendly, what we are saying is take a look and consider what are you doing and see if it really is as environmentally friendly as you believe it is. Of course, every little helps and every bit we can do to become more green is welcome, but we still need to try and be as green as we possibly can.