Bankrate's 2007 Living Green, Saving Green Guide
smart spending
10 major myths about living green

You can check the mileage on your car (or your dream ride) without even leaving your chair. The federal Environmental Protection Agency recently reconfigured the miles-per-gallon formulas to give a more real-world estimate. You can look at city, highway or combined mileage for almost any vehicle at the agency's FuelEconomy.gov site.

Fast fact:
Each year some 1.4 billion movie tickets alone are sold in the U.S. and almost every one of them goes into the trash.

Myth No. 9: Millions of vehicles can run on ethanol.

What is true: There are millions of cars and trucks on the road capable of burning E85 (85 percent ethanol, which is vegetable-based alcohol and 15 percent gasoline). But "owners may be paying a premium for the vehicle," says Pica, "and since most of the E85 fuel pumps are in the Midwest, nine times out of 10, they're going to be pulling up at a station that is dispensing E10 (only 10 percent ethanol)." And you don't need a special engine for that.

Myth No.10: There's always one 'right' answer to your eco-dilemma.

The paper or plastic debate is the best example of this. Not even the experts can agree which is a more eco-friendly way to carry home groceries. The better answer, of course, is neither: Bring your own cloth bags to the store. Another debate rages over carbon offsets -- when one company minimizes its responsibility for the amount of carbon dioxide it produces by buying or subsidizing another company's carbon-saving behavior. While many green groups support carbon offsets, others view them only as a solution of last resort. Everyone generally agrees we're poisoning the planet and ourselves with it. But conflicting information about what constitutes a green choice can leave many consumers stalled with indecision. The best way to break the logjam is to start by trying a couple of solutions that are doable and make sense to you.

Dana Dratch is a freelance writer based in Atlanta.

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