You’ve probably noticed that green is everywhere these days–in the news, politics, fashion, and even technology. You can hardly escape it on the Internet, and now with the Planet Green TV network, you can even enjoy eco-friendly entertainment 24 hours a day. That’s all great as far as we’re concerned, but with a million messages and ideas coming at us from all sides, it can be easy to get caught up in the quotidian stuff–switching to organic foods, turning down the thermostat, recycling, say — without thinking about the big picture of how your actions stack up. Worse, you could even be suffering from a little green “fatigue” — that is, tuning out the green messages due to their ubiquity.While it’s easy to get overwhelmed, it’s also simple to begin making a positive impact. Since it’s helpful to understand the big picture when it comes to setting to smaller goals, we’ve adjusted our focus for this guide–a departure from out typical “how to go green” content, which typically tackles very specific topics such as kitchens, cars, or pets — to take a broader look at the reasons behind why we should go green.
Biodegradable plastic sounds like a wonderful idea when you first hear about it. Most plastics are notorious for how long they stick around and how hard it is to break them down naturally, so to think that all those bits of plastics that end up scattered to the four winds could just melt away harmlessly sounds almost too good to be true. And well, once you read the fine print, it kind of is…A new report by the United Nations looks at these so-called biodegradable plastics and their impact on oceans, and compared to the theory, reality is a lot less rosy. The biodegradable plastics rarely actually degrade because they require long-term exposure to high-temperatures (around 122F, or 50C), like those found in large municipal composters, to actually break-down. Those conditions are not found very often in nature, and especially not in the oceans.