9. Green myth: Buy milk in paper or glass cartons if you have the choice. Fact: Because half-gallon plastic milk jugs use much less material, they have lower life-cycle greenhouse-gas emissions than glass or paper containers of the same size.
10. Green myth: Using your garbage disposal isn't good for the environment. Fact: It depends on a couple of local factors and also on what you would do with the garbage if you didn't put it in the disposal. If you're going to toss it in the trash, it's probably better to grind it up in the disposal, although the benefits may depend on how your community captures methane emissions from wastewater treatment and landfills. If you want to do it right, compost your leftover food.
I asked Hausfather to provide some scientific evidence for these claims and here they are:
1. Recycled versus virgin paper. This one is a bit thorny, he admits. He's willing to discuss it with me, so if you'd like to know more of what's behind the issue, say so in a comment and it can be a future blog post.
2. Local food is always green. This is based on a life-cycle analysis of food sources by Weber and Matthews (2008) in which they find:
"...the GHG emissions associated with food are dominated by the production phase, contributing 83% of the average U.S. household’s 8.1 t CO2e/yr footprint for food consumption. Transportation as a whole represents only 11% of life-cycle GHG emissions, and ﬁnal delivery from producer to retail contributes only 4%. Different food groups exhibit a large range in GHG-intensity; on average, red meat is around 150% more GHG- intensive than chicken or ﬁsh. Thus, we suggest that dietary shift can be a more effective means of lowering an average household’s food-related climate footprint than “buying local.” Shifting less than one day per week’s worth of calories from red meat and dairy products to chicken, ﬁsh, eggs, or a vegetable-based diet achieves more GHG reduction than buying all locally sourced food."