Environment Trends & Culture - July 17th, 2009

by Danielle Rippingale

Over the past few years there has been much written on how to live and tread more lightly on this earth. Perhaps you think you’ve heard it all. Take this quiz to see just how much you do know and what you can still learn about living a greener life.

1 You shouldn’t turn your PC on and off because it will wear out. True or False?

2 Which changes to your beauty and personal care habits will have the most positive impact on your health and environment? A. Buy products labeled organic. B. Cut back on the number of products, and use them less often. C. Buy products labeled natural. D. Grind your own minerals, mix your own moisturizers, and boil your own soap.

3 Your bank offers online banking, but you should be concerned about identity and banking fraud. True or False?

4 Hybrid cars are actually bad for the environment because there isn’t a way to recycle the batteries. True or False?

5 For your next big spring clean, what should you look for in a ‘green’ cleaning product? A. It’s free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). B. It’s free of chlorine bleach. C. It’s homemade from non-toxic ingredients. D. All of the above.

6 It is best to dispose of unused medication down the toilet. True or False?

7 The average carbon emissions from an animal-based diet per person annually is: A. 11 tons B. 1 ton C. 20 tons D. 5 tons

8 Clothes get just as clean in cold water as they do in hot. True or False?

9 Most environmental damage caused by people in the developed world can be attributed to what? A. vehicles B. high consumption patterns C. industrial pollutants D. air travel

10 Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere are higher today than they have been for at least: A. 80 years B. 800 years C. 80,000 years D. 800,000 years

Answers: 1 False. Today’s PCs are designed to handle 40,000 on/off cycles before a failure, and that’s a number you likely won’t reach during the computer’s life span.

2 D and B. While D may be the truly correct answer, B addresses the fact that most of us use too many beauty products and too much of each product at one time.

3 True. Online banking uses 128-bit encryption, one of the most advanced technologies available for safeguarding sensitive information. The average time to detect fraud for online banking users is 18 days; for non-online users it is 114 days. An enormous amount of paper is saved if households view and pay bills electronically, saving millions of trees and billions of gallons of water per year.

4 False. Hybrid car batteries are fully recyclable. Toyota and Honda will recycle and dispose of dead batteries.

5 D.

6 False. Wastewater plants are not designed to handle household hazardous wastes like expired medication. Medications can end up in our water supplies in trace amounts and also get into the soil. Unused meds should always be returned to your pharmacy for proper disposal.

7 A. The environmental impact of a vegan diet is a fraction of that of a meat-based one with the average emissions on a plant-based diet being six tons per year.

8 True. Cold water works just as well for daily laundry. Making the switch to cold is better for the earth and will save you money in energy usage, and new clothes will look newer longer.

9 C.

10 D. Antarctic ice core records show atmospheric CO2 is higher than levels recorded over the past 800,000 years, with half of that rise occurring