How Green Is My Bottle?
April 19, 2009 By DANIEL GOLEMAN and GREGORY NORRIS
Earth Day is this Wednesday, and all things “green” will be celebrated. But it’s worth asking: how environmentally friendly are “green” products, really? Consider, for example, this paragon of eco-virtue: the stainless steel water bottle that lets us hydrate without discarding endless plastic bottles. Using a method called life cycle assessment, we have evaluated the environmental and health impact of a stainless steel thermos — from the extraction and processing of its ingredients, to its manufacture, distribution, use and final disposal. There were some surprises. What we think of as “green” turns out to be less so (and, yes, sometimes more so) than we assume. read more