5 Green Living Myths—and How To Shatter Them

Tackle these green living myths today to jump-start your eco-friendly lifestyle.


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Want to know how to go green? First, tackle these green living myths.

Myth #1: It will be too difficult and disruptive to change my habits.

You can start living an environmentally conscious lifestyle by making small, simple improvements and building on them over several weeks. For example, much driving is done more out of habit than for convenience, pleasure or necessity. Giving up the car two or three days a week to carpool or use public transportation isn’t a hardship, it’s just an adjustment. You’re likely to find that even deep-rooted habits can be altered gradually without upheaving your life.

Myth #2: Earth-friendly products are hard to find and expensive.

An estimated 13,000 retailers are devoted to selling environmentally preferable products. In addition, conventional retailers have begun integrating safer sustainable alternatives into their lines. Many earth-friendly products are as economical as their conventional counterparts because they use recycled or reclaimed materials, require less processing and output less waste. In many cases, a higher-priced item offers deferred savings (such as energy-efficient products that reduce costs in the long run).

Myth #3: Being environmental means depriving me and my family of comforts and conveniences.

There are many products that enable earth-minded people to live comfortably. Designer home furnishings, state-of-the-art appliances, a nice car, fine cuisine and exotic vacations can all be found in earth-friendly form. Greener living can be compatible with modern living by reconciling your ideals, discovering environmentally sound replacements and integrating those replacements into your life.

Myth #4: It’s hypocritical to practice environmentally friendly behaviors in some, but not all, areas of my life.

Greener living is a relative and evolving state. There are always more things to do or things to improve. What you can achieve is a factor of understanding, timing, location and finances, so adopt a willingness to be a work in progress—it’s the only way to learn and change.

Myth #5: I can’t make a difference if no one else does anything.

Every day people all over the world exhibit ecological behaviors that raise consciousness. So many people making efforts, large and small, to green their lives adds up to big environmental results. The bottom line: Change yourself, and the power of your example will bring about positive changes in others.

Adapted with permission from It’s Easy Being Green by Crissy Trask (Gibbs Smith, 2006).