From the Guardian, by way of Twitter: Top 10 green living myths.
“What they tell you: Buy a greener car.
What they don’t tell you: If you definitely need a new car, it makes perfect sense to buy a small, super-efficient model with low CO2 emissions. However, making a new car – including mining and processing the metals and manufacturing and assembling the components – takes a huge amount of energy. According to an expert at the Stockholm Environment Institute, the production of a typical modern car causes around 8 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to driving 23,000 miles. Because of this, unless you currently drive a lot in a highly inefficient car, it will often be greener to stick to your existing vehicle than to sell it and buy a new one.
What they tell you: Going veggie cuts emissions
What they don’t tell you: It’s true that animal products tend to have much higher carbon footprint than food produced from plants. Hence vegetarianism tends to be a good idea from an environmental point of view. The devil is in the detail, however, because certain dairy products are more “carbon intensive” than some meats. In particular hard cheese, which takes a lot of milk to produce, can have a bigger footprint per kilo than chicken. So while cutting out meat – especially beef and lamb – definitely makes ecological sense, the benefit will be reduced if you make up the calories by consuming more dairy. The most effective way to reduce the emissions of your diet is to go vegan – or as close as you can get.
What they tell you: Buy local
What they don’t tell you: The transport of goods accounts for a small but significant proportion of the human impact on the climate. It generally makes environmental sense, therefore, to favour local food and other products. However, it’s not always true that local is best. One study suggested that lamb from New Zealand, with its clean energy and rich pastures, has a lower footprint when consumed in the UK than locally produced lamb, despite the long-distance shipping. Another study showed that cut flowers sold in Britain that had been grown in distant but sunny Kenya had a smaller carbon footprint than those grown in heated greenhouses in Holland. So while transport is important, it’s not the only factor to consider.”
Speaking of Twitter, I’m considering starting up an account to announce postings and random interesting links I may find that don’t always make it to the Ouroboros. Would anyone follow? I don’t personally use Twitter, I’ve avoided it, but it could be a potentially useful tool. I’m not sure how many people I know who use Twitter, though.