It seems that, lately, in order to be an upstanding citizen of the world you must be more conscious of how you use the earth’s resources. While few would argue against the benefits of living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, many can make a compelling argument for why it simply won’t work for them: Going green can be expensive. But, does it really cost more money to live a greener life? The answer is yes, and no. Here are some things to consider:
Energy savings. One of the primary goals of going green is to cut back on energy expenditure. It goes without saying that the less energy you use, the less money you will have to spend on energy. However, what snags many people is the measures they must take to make those cutbacks. For example, when you consider the cost of things like new, energy efficient appliances, solar panels, and hybrid vehicles, it can be difficult to see past the financial investment associated with green living. However, a better approach is to look at the bigger picture: how much energy and gas money will those investments save you in the long run? If the savings will inevitable eventually outweigh the initial investment, then going green really doesn’t cost more money.
Steering clear of chemicals that poison the earth. It’s no secret that organic vegetables generally cost more than their fertilized counterparts. Additionally, those green household cleaning products tend to be pricier than standard alternatives. However, there are ways around these exorbitant costs. Consider growing your own vegetables and/or purchasing organic vegetables from local farmers at a discounted rate; rather than purchase commercial cleaning products, clean and sanitize your household with the “fantastic four” eco-friendly options: vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and salt.
Switching up your transportation. As previously mentioned, buying a hybrid vehicle is a great way to reduce your fuel usage (as well as the toxic fumes you are introducing into the atmosphere). However, there are more immediate ways you can play your part in saving the earth by switching up your transportation method, and they are extremely cost efficient. Consider how much gas money you might be able to save by purchasing a bus pass, participating in a car pool to and from work, or riding your bicycle when you don’t have very far to travel.
What will going green cost (or save) you? The best way to find out is to first determine what your carbon footprint is (there are a variety of sources on the web to help you do just that), and then examine each of your lifestyle habits that affects your number to determine where and how you can make alterations. You might be surprised to find that going green can both simplify your life and your bank account statement. If you want to find out more about how green living can impact your finances, consider going to SmartAsset and asking a few questions of the experts there.