Five “Green” Options That Aren’t So Green

BUYING ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS won’t save the planet. Making a real impact requires traveling and spending less, building smaller, and leaving the car at home.

RADIANT BARRIER PAINTS
are supposed to reflect heat, prevent heat transfer, and help insulate your home. But according to our expert sources, these products simply aren’t effective.

INSUL-TARP AND OTHER THIN INSULATORS are about as useful as bubble wrap at keeping heat inside. Insulation in this climate should be at least four inches thick.

BAMBOO has become the de rigueur flooring option, but while it’s quick to grow, it’s nearly all imported from China, requiring a significant amount of energy to get it here.

REPLACING WINDOWS OR ROOFS AND INSTALLING GEOTHERMAL OR SOLAR PANELS
can help reduce your carbon footprint, but will never justify the price tag if you haven’t taken care of the basics first: sealing, insulating, and energy-auditing.

Bamboo image from iStockphoto.