Don't Get Tricked While Going Green

Do the "eco-friendly" test before you fall for the garbage

By Lynda Baquero
|  Monday, Jul 20, 2009  |  Updated 2:04 PM EDT
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Don't Get Tricked While Going Green

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Go green on Earth Day, and all year round.

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Is it true that "all paper should be recycled?" Do you believe "I have to spend a lot of money to go green?" Neither are true -- and there are a lot more myths about going green.

A recent Web article from an environmental advocacy group in Phoenix debunks some of the most common ones. For example, not all paper should be recycled, especially greasy pizza boxes. Earth911.com's Jennifer Berry says the grease mixes with the water-based recycling solution and ruins the recycling process.

"What you want to do is remove those greasy portions or maybe even just rip off the top and recycle that, because the grease that's in there will actually cause more damage than good," said Berry.

What about organic food? Is it always better for the planet? Not if it travels thousands of miles! At that point you're better off eating locally grown produce, even with pesticides. But Berry said, "potatoes, celery or bell peppers are better for consumers if they're organic because they won't retain those pesticides."

If you want to make sure something is truly "eco-friendly," look for third party labels, such as the USDA Organic Certification label. Good Housekeeping is soon coming out with its own green label certification program.

Going green doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Although compact flouroscent light bulbs may cost a little more at first, Berry said "those light bulbs will save you at least $80 in their first year of use and they last for ten years."

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