The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Household Debt and Credit Report reported $11.85 trillion total household indebtedness in the second quarter of 2015. We have two massive issues in America—the degradation of our environment and a seemingly insurmountable debt, particularly consumer debt. The hesitation some have to go green stems from the false belief that we are unable to make a large positive impact without significant costs
How about this novelty idea: You can actually save money and help protect our earth at the same time. Social entrepreneurs recruit "skeptics" to the team green by providing economically efficient products and services that minimize consumers' carbon footprint.
Taking steps to go green won’t solve our massive environmental problems, but it will put hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars back into your pocket and help stop rapid, global environmental degradation..
'LESS LAWN MOWING, MORE FOOD GROWING'
Save money on fertilizers and compost your waste! You’d be surprised what can enter the compost bin, including food, yard trimmings, newspapers and all organic materials.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “generating compost and using it in landscaping can save money through reduced waste disposal fees and hauling costs, and by reducing the need to purchase water, fertilizers, and pesticides.” Compost enriches the soil and our ecosystem, instead of giving off harmful gases in landfills.
New York City's Department of Sanitation states that 31% of all city residential and institutional waste streams are made up of compostable organic waste. Start composting today and check out Eartheasy’s Composting Guide.
revolutionized "green-mowing" at zero cost to the environment. Founder Dan Delventhal and the local team use battery-powered, electrical and solar-charged equipment to empower communities to make environmentally friendly, organic and healthy choices. The company states that "mowing the average lawn with gas emits over 100 lbs. of carbon and other air pollution per year, or the emissions equivalent of an extra car driven for 10,000 miles." Since 2007, the thin, determined team accomplished reducing two
auto-mile equivalent emissions.
MowGreen's next step is to fulfill the company's mantra, "less lawn mowing, more food growing," looking to piggyback off of a new ethical consumerism, when people demand more garden care and less lawn mowing. Save costs on toxic products and services, and hire local, environmentally charged citizens, aiding them in the pursuit of green initiatives.
Grow your own garden. Not only does fresh food that you’re proud of taste better, it’s also the most natural and healthy way to eat. This will save you money in the grocery store and on medical bills associated with diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
TAKE A HIKE
Get out of the gym, fresh air is good for you! If there were a decrease in demand for the heavy equipment inside workout facilities, suppliers would be forced to stop manufacturing them. Driving to the gym to work out takes up time, for most people over 30 minutes (that you could have spent one something productive, like making money). If you must join a gym, choose one that is close to you to maximize your workout by running, reducing gas costs and carbon emissions. Melt off calories by abstaining from polluting our air.
Avoid cabs and car services. Take public transit if you are crunched for time, or are physically incapable of walking or biking to the location. If you must, take UberPool. According to the Uber, uberX already costs 40% less than a taxi on average. “Imagine reducing that cost by up to another 50%!” (To learn how to use companies such as Uber to save, see: Make Money Fast From The New ‘Sharing Economy’.)
CHILL OUT WITH THE AIR CONDITIONING
Your electric bill may be blowing up your monthly costs. What seems like an oddly high bill can be brushed off, due to the relatively low incremental differences between months. If multiplied, you’ll see how much you can save by turning off the heat and A/C when you are not home.
A study by Cornell University concluded that workers in a chilly work environment (68 degrees) demonstrated half of the productivity of those in warm offices (77 degrees). The employees working in the moderately cold office made a whopping 44% more errors that their counterparts do.
If coworkers in the office are constantly complaining about the temperature, consider bringing the issue to management. Your firm will recognize the effort to help it cut costs, and remember your leadership when promotion time comes around.
SAVE SOME FOR THE FISH
As opposed to organic compounds, like a banana, that decompose and enrich the soil with nutrients, plastic finds its way the ocean. In the ocean, plastic physically breaks into smaller and smaller pieces that enter the food chain and ultimately our dinner plates. These micro plastics are found everywhere, sometimes intentionally placed, i.e. by a number of toothpaste and face-wash companies.
Stop buying these harmful, wasteful products and check labels. You can even save money by making your own products, via easily searchable online blogs and video tutorials. If you're lucky enough to live in an area with perfectly potable water (most of the United States), do yourself a favor and please stop buying a free commodity in the form of plastic water bottles.
Other small changes include washing dishes with less water by filling the sink first and replacing your showerhead with an eco-friendly model. All will save you on water costs. Many green home installations can also reduce your tax liability. (To learn more, see: How Going Green Can Cut Your Taxes.)
THE BOTTOM LINE
Household-services, transportation, electric and water-usage decisions provide opportunities to save your money and fresh air. Other great avenues include planning vacations to national parks, green investing, sharing-economy services and so on. These habits are easy to form; however, it takes motivation to begin. How about saving money and creating a better world for you and your neighbors as global citizens?
It’s always noble to do something for yourself; to budget in order to save money and live life with less worry of financial instability. It’s also honorable to give back. More people now believe that improving social good is the true essence of our existence, which directly involves our roles as consumers.