Eco-friendly Lifestyle (I) - Shopping

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Eco-friendly Lifestyle (I) - Shopping - Quiz

One’s lifestyle is the way that he/she lives, and that includes everything from how he/she gets around and interacts with people to the way that the person shops and consumes food. It requires knowledge about the environment and how to sustain it, as well as a desire to change one’s old habits and attitudes, to live a healthy eco-friendly lifestyle. In this quiz, we focus on shopping in an environmentally-conscious way so that you will shop armed not only with a conscience but also with the facts to act according to it.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

                 You are at the supermarket doing the weekly grocery shopping. As fresh local produce is limited in supply in land-scarce Singapore, which is the most eco-friendly option of buying fruits and vegetables in terms of the energy used to grow and transport them?

    • A.

      Nonlocal fresh produce, which consume fossil fuels as they are trucked down from Malaysia

    • B.

      Frozen vegetables, which use fossil fuels for freezing, packaging, transportation and storage

    • C.

      Canned vegetables which use fossil fuels for cooking, canning and transportation

    Correct Answer
    A. Nonlocal fresh produce, which consume fossil fuels as they are trucked down from Malaysia
    Explanation
    The energy costs of transporting large quantities of fresh produce, even across great distances, are typically less than those required to process, package, and distribute the same baby carrots or pickled lettuce in a can or freezer bag.

    For canned goods, most of the energy is consumed in the packaging process—manufacturing the steel can and then sterilizing, filling, and sealing it.

    For frozen foods, most of the energy is used in freezing the product and then keeping it at that temperature from the factory to the freezer section of the grocery store.

    Although the long-distance transport of fresh fruits and vegetables also consumes fossil-fuel resources, the lack of processing or packaging means that the quantity of fossil-fuel energy expended in a kilogram of fresh produce is typically less than the amount expended in a kilogram of canned or frozen food.

    Finally, after consumption, the steel can and plastic packaging require yet more energy to transport them to recycling facilities or landfills.

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  • 2. 

    You notice that products “made with organic ingredients” are more expensive but your mum is prepared to pay the extra cost because she knows that these products contain :

    • A.

      10% organic ingredients

    • B.

      50% organic ingredients

    • C.

      70% organic ingredients

    • D.

      100% organic ingredients

    Correct Answer
    C. 70% organic ingredients
    Explanation
    Processed products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients can use the phrase "made with organic ingredients" on the label, but they may not be labelled organic or display the organic seal.

    Products labelled organic must consist of at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt).

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  • 3. 

    True or False?  Purchasing larger size products can be beneficial to the environment.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    Purchasing products in larger, "value size" containers or in bulk means less packaging and transportation per serving, thereby reducing the carbon footprint. It is also cheaper and hence easier on the wallet!

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  • 4. 

    You are feeling guilty for not bringing along reusable shopping bags. When asked by the cashier whether you prefer plastic or paper bags for your shopping, you want to make good by choosing the more environmentally-friendly choice. What would that be?

    • A.

      Plastic bags. They can be reused at home as garbage liners.

    • B.

      Paper bags. They are biodegradable, unlike plastics.

    • C.

      Neither. Both pose their own set of environmental problems.

    Correct Answer
    C. Neither. Both pose their own set of environmental problems.
    Explanation
    Shopping surveys have shown that many shoppers, when asked if they prefer plastic or paper bags, would choose paper for the simple reason that plastics do not biodegrade while paper does.

    What people do not realize is how big a carbon footprint the paper industry has. The production of paper bags creates 70 percent more air pollution than plastic, but plastic bags create four times the solid waste.
    Plastic, because it's cheaper to produce, is the overwhelming choice of grocery stores.

    For both types of bags, the environmentalist mantra for shoppers is the same — reuse and recycle … but the best choice is cloth or canvas, and BYOB — bring your own bags!

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  • 5. 

    The Great Singapore Sale 2009 is coming up and you are thinking of picking up some bargains. When buying consumer goods, what should an environmentally-conscious consumer look out for?       (i)      Packaging (ii)    Price (iii)   Technology (iv)  Aesthetics  

    • A.

      All of the above

    • B.

      (i), (ii) and (iii) only

    • C.

      (ii) and (iii) only

    • D.

      (i) and (iii) only

    Correct Answer
    D. (i) and (iii) only
    Explanation
    As an environmentally conscious consumer, when buying goods, always consider how much packaging the product comes in. Choose products with less packaging, reusable packaging or no packaging at all. Valuable resources are wasted in making elaborate packaging and if discarded, the packaging adds to the landfill problem.

    Also, choose consumer goods that embrace the use of green technology. Instead of focusing on the upfront price, opt for products with the Green Label as these energy-efficient appliances will cut hundreds of dollars off your annual electricity bills, leading to eventual cost-savings.

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  • 6. 

    You are shopping for a new computer. Which would be the more eco-friendly choice?

    • A.

      A laptop

    • B.

      A desktop

    Correct Answer
    A. A laptop
    Explanation
    The energy drawn by a laptop computer is only 10 to 15 percent of the energy drawn by a conventional desktop computer and monitor.

    According to the US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) website, if an additional 1 percent of computers purchased this year were laptops instead of desktops, the annual energy saved could total nearly 150 million kilowatt hours. That energy savings would deliver enough electricity to power 14,000 US households for a whole year.

    Besides being more energy-efficient, laptops have the additional advantage of being light and portable :)

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  • 7. 

    Your friend recommends you to a book he has just read. Which is the most environmentally friendly way to buy the book if you intend to own it?

    • A.

      Order a used book online from Amazon.com

    • B.

      Walk, cycle or take the public transport to the bookstore to buy a new book

    • C.

      Drive to the bookstore to buy a used book

    Correct Answer
    B. Walk, cycle or take the public transport to the bookstore to buy a new book
    Explanation
    The main environmental costs of buying books relate to shipping and transportation. Therefore, any actions you can take to reduce the distance travelled —for yourself or your book—as well as the impact of the transport mode, will result in a more eco-friendly book purchase.

    As such, online shipments delivered via airfreight are the least environmentally friendly of all options given the amount of greenhouse gas emissions arising from the shipment.

    Between buying a used book or a new book, buying a used book is definitely a better choice than buying a new book owing to resources saved in producing the new book. However, as the environmental costs of driving far outweigh the costs of new book production, it is actually better to avoid the drive and buy a new book than to spend fuel to buy a used one.

    Obviously, the most eco-friendly book-buyer would be the one who walks, cycles, or takes public transport to the bookstore to buy a used book (but this option is not given in the quiz).

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  • 8. 

    You would like to buy some cosmetics but want to ensure that the cosmetics you buy are produced without cruelty to animals. Which label should you be looking for?

    • A.

      “Not tested on Animals” label

    • B.

      “Cruelty-free” label

    • C.

      "Leaping Bunny” logo

    Correct Answer
    C. "Leaping Bunny” logo
    Explanation
    Labelling is often deliberately misleading and the claim that a cosmetic is “not tested on animals” or “cruelty-free” does not guarantee that it has been humanely produced. Although the finished product might not have been tested on animals, individual ingredients could have been.
    Also, ensuring that cosmetics are truly cruelty-free can be tricky.

    Hence, the best way is to look for the “Leaping Bunny” logo. This logo is the only international symbol that represents the toughest non-animal testing standard. To obtain approval, companies must prove that they do not conduct animal testing themselves, commission anyone else to do so on their behalf, nor buy ingredients that have been tested.

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  • 9. 

    The home refrigerator is still functioning well. Mum is however requesting Dad to buy her a new fridge as a Mother’s Day present. Should Dad buy it?

    • A.

      Yes. Make Mum happy; after all it's a Mother's Day request.

    • B.

      No. We should tighten our belt given the economic recession.

    • C.

      Depends. Dad should do a cost-benefit analysis before making a decision.

    Correct Answer
    C. Depends. Dad should do a cost-benefit analysis before making a decision.
    Explanation
    Depending on when the old fridge was bought, a new fridge model may be significantly more energy efficient even though the old model works perfectly. Also, since refrigerant and seals start to leak, performance tends to degrade over time.

    The cost-benefit analysis Dad undertakes should include :
    - Finding out how much electricity the current refrigerator uses vis-à-vis the potential energy savings a new refrigerator can provide.

    - Instead of buying a new refrigerator, the old fridge can be given a tune-up. A simple tune-up on its own will result in significant electricity savings. Tune up procedures will include replacing the door gaskets to seal up leaks or cracks, checking the temperature (38-40F for refrigerator, 5F for freezer), cleaning the compressor and coils and ensuring good airflow around the fridge.

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  • Current Version
  • Mar 22, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Apr 22, 2009
    Quiz Created by
    Youthhabitat
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