2011: The Year in EcoMyths

by Katie Casas, Director of Public Outreach, EcoMyths Alliance We hope you have enjoyed our environmental myth-busting this year as much as we have! As we celebrate the beginning of 2012, here are the highlights of 2011’s EcoMyths: Myth: The Chicago River is Mostly Toilet Water. The Chicago River is famously known for being green…as in … Read more

Myth: Getting Outside Is Fun But Not Fundamental

 Dear Nature, you were a great fling, but now that winter is here, I’m thinking I’ll stick to the inside world. —Sincerely, Your Summer Romance When you think about it, nature can really seem like the perfect commitment-free relationship: no matter the season, you can have fun together whenever you want, for as long as … Read more

Chicago’s Own Big Thirst

Thanks to Friends of Debra Shore for providing this information. The Big Thirst was here! Charles Fishman, author of this landmark book on water, culture, and scarcity, visited the Chicago area this past weekend. Big thanks to Debra Shore, an EcoMyths Alliance advisory board member and Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater … Read more

Myth: Bats Are Foe, Not Friend

Picture this: It’s a dark and stormy night (isn’t it always?), and the streetlights have all gone out. You hear a suspicious rustling just ahead of you. Skin prickling, hairs standing straight up on your neck, you cautiously step forward. Suddenly, you see a winged shadow flicker across the broken drifts of moonlight. Where’s Buffy … Read more

Myth: An Apple a Day Still Keeps the Doctor Away

With apple season in full force, and dreams of cider, pie and other fall favorites dancing in our heads, we wanted to know:is the crunchy fruit still a healthy pick? In this era of pesticides, does “an apple a day” still keep the doctor away? Some argue no, at least when it comes to apples … Read more

Out, Darn Desk Jockey! Outdoors, that is

Confession: I eat lunch at my desk. A lot. I know I shouldn’t, but my inner workaholic usually wins the fight. But this time of year, that inner voice is drowned out by another, equally obsessive voice: the desire to go outdoors. It’s a primal urge, and a healthy one. But one I—and thousands of … Read more

Clean water runs through EcoMyths’ veins

Welcome to EcoMyths’ new website. We have a new look, but the same mission: to bring you simple nuggets of information about nature that are relevant to your daily life – and to have some fun with it! EcoMyths’ partners started busting myths in January 2009, inspired by the MythBusters TV show on Discovery Channel. Our … Read more

Myth: The Chicago River Is Toilet Water


To tackle some lingering myths about the Chicago River, let’s start with a pop quiz. Which of the following describes the river? A nature haven A paddler’s paradise Toilet water Really green every March 17 All of the above The answer is 5. Wait a minute. Sure, everyone knows that dyeing the Chicago River green … Read more

Myth: Pesticides Only Kill Bad Bugs

Can We Use Pesticides Without Harming Beneficial Bugs? ~ Do not draw your sword to kill a fly – Korean Proverb Whether you’re wrangling with Japanese beetles munching on your flowers, slugs eating holes in your vegetables, or caterpillars feasting on your trees, it’s tempting to use pesticides to solve the problem. And it’s easy … Read more