Is paying attention to the environment by choosing ecologically friendly products your philosophy of life? Good, but sometimes even with the best intentions you can be wrong. In fact, there are many things that many people believe are ecological but are based on urban legends or false beliefs. Not everything that is natural is low impact, like cotton. And not always saving trees means protecting the environment.
Is paying attention to the environment by choosing ecologically friendly products your philosophy of life? Good, but sometimes even with the best intentions you can be wrong.
In fact, there are many things that many people believe are ecological but are based on urban legends or false beliefs.
Not everything that is natural is low impact, like cotton. And not always saving trees means protecting the environment. Let’s try together to dispel some false myths and find out what is really the most sustainable alternative.
Ecologically Friendly Products: Soy or Dairy?
Soy is a very nutritious legume as a good source of plant protein. It is no coincidence that it is the main alternative to meat and dairy products. But is it more sustainable? Its production is. The production of a glass of soya vegetable drink requires 1/3 of water and emits 1/5 of CO2 emissions compared to a glass of milk.
In fact, cattle breeding has the highest environmental impact, but even soya is no joke. Every year more than 1.5 million hectares of Amazonian forest are destroyed, and 10% of deforested areas are used to grow soybeans, almost all of which are GMO.
So it is all right to replace or alternate dairy products with plant products. But when you buy soya products, make sure they come from sustainable supply chains that don’t harm the environment.
Natural Fake Fabrics
Fashion is a sore point. It’s an industry with a very high impact. Just think that a quarter of the chemicals produced in the world are used for clothing, often made of synthetic fibres (derived from petroleum) and treated with solvents that pollute rivers and seas. Not to mention water consumption and CO2 emissions.
What many people unfortunately do not know is that we must also beware of natural fibres, such as cotton. 10% of pesticides produced in the world are used in its cultivation. Around 80% of the cotton on the market comes from GMO crops. And it consumes enormous amounts of water: more than 7000 gallons for a T-shirt! So cotton is fine, as long as it’s organic. Otherwise, it’s better to focus on other more sustainable fibres such as flax, hemp or bamboo.
Another deception is eco leather, which is anything but ecological. No animals die, it’s true, but it contains oil derivatives and it is not even a biodegradable or recyclable fabric.
The False Myth of Biofuels
We all know what the problems with conventional fuels are. They pollute, and make us dependent on oil, a resource that is not renewable anyway and will therefore gradually run out. Biofuels exist today as a sustainable alternative, obtained from agricultural crops such as wheat, maize, sugar cane and others.
They certainly reduce the emission of harmful substances into the environment. However, in order to cultivate these resources it is often necessary to deforest as is the case in South America with maize and palm oil in South East Asia. In addition, not only agricultural waste is used, but plants are grown specifically to become fuels. In this way, resources are taken away from the agri-food industry and competition and financial speculation are created which increases the price of cereals.