Hello Earth

Belt or Suspenders: Which Is the Green Choice?

January 2019

In this holiday season of shopping and feasts, Back Market suggests keeping the environment in mind as you make your purchases! A few pieces of advice to help the planet won’t cost you a penny, so let’s consider the environmental perspective on a few products and the way we use them. Ready, set, GO! Wait, no, come back…

With Christmas fast approaching, you might be thinking about buying an artificial tree in order to cause less pollution. Indeed, since they’re intended to last a number of years, that would avoid cutting down some of our lovely tree friends. That’s true, and yet… a real tree pollutes much less! First of all, the artificial tree is a nasty hodgepodge of metal and plastic (in other words, oil). Second, as they’re often made in Asia or some other far-off land, they’ll need to travel via plane and truck to get to you. A natural Christmas tree, on the other hand, is made of real wood, has been contributing to photosynthesis, is not processed, and, if it was grown fairly close to the point of sale, requires far less transportation. Its environmental impact is, on average, three times less severe! Conclusion: Make the natural choice and buy a real tree that was grown near you!

Are you hesitant to put an e-reader under the tree? Which pollutes less: a digital device or books on paper? It all depends… on the reader! As it turns out, if you read more than 40 books per year, the environmental impact of the e-reader is less than that of books printed on paper! If you take a single book as the point of comparison, the paper book is the clear winner, generating only 1.3 kg of CO2, compared with about 200 for the electronic device. However, nobody buys an e-reader to read just one book; you’ll read hundreds! Over time, no worries here: The e-reader takes it away!

After a big holiday meal, you’re stuck with a mountain of dishes to wash! (Nooooooooo!) So which is better for your environmentally-friendly conscience: doing all the dishes by hand or firing up the dishwasher? If you have latest-generation equipment, it can save a lot of water and electricity, so it ought to be your first choice. And if Uncle Bob still puts up resistance to the newfangled dishwasher, tell him that doing the dishes the old-fashioned way consumes more water (on average, 3.5 times as much) and more electricity (2.5 times as much), since the water also needs to be heated! Besides, a dishwasher can be programmed to run at off-peak times and in “eco-mode.”

When all is said and done, it’s not always easy to make the best eco-friendly choice between “natural” and “high-tech” options. Just asking the right questions is the first step in revealing the truth!


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