In my work, I do a lot of myth-busting around what is ‘green’ and what is not. Years of scientific research across a variety of fields has allowed me to uncover a range of fascinating and often counterintuitive facts about what's ‘sustainable’ and what’s not. I have compiled the three most compelling and misunderstood myths and busted them for you below:
01 | BIODEGRADABILITY IS BEST
We continuously hear people say things like, “But, it’s biodegradable... So, it’s obviously way better.” Terms like biodegradable, recyclable, and renewable are used interchangeably to mean good for the planet. Yet, these words simply describe a material's property – not an environmental benefit and are often used by marketers to misdirect consumers into thinking that just because something is capable of biodegrading, then it will also have an opportunity to do so. The fact is that in the hands of the wrong systems, these properties can actually have a negative environmental impact. Allow me to explain: Nature has created a pretty spectacular closed system where everything has its place, and waste from one thing is turned into food for something else. Unfortunately, humans have not been quite as good at replicating these natural closed-loop systems and instead have produced a myriad of linear systems, where resources go in and waste comes out—often ending up as a landfill.