Nearly 3 in 5 Americans make ‘green’ resolutions, according to a poll by marketing firm Tiller LLC. Also, 71 percent of consumers consider the environment when shopping — a rise of 5 percent from 2018. Besides the significant impact that adopting a sustainable lifestyle can have on the environment, being eco-friendly is also a great way to save money. With 50 percent of Americans feeling worried about their debt and 84 percent trying to save for a goal, going green may be the perfect answer to help you shave expenses. By adopting sustainable habits, you be bolster your finances in a way that pays off in the long run.
You Pay More UpFront, But Less Overall
Eco-friendly products tend to cost more than traditional alternatives. As more consumers tap into a sustainable way of living, demand for eco-friendly products is on the rise. As a result, prices are steadily rising. A great example is the cost of a reusable cup ($7.50) versus disposable one ($0.0045).
Thanks to the staggering price difference, many Americans are finding it difficult to buy green, even if the intention is there. However, over its lifetime, a reusable product such as the cup can easily repay its higher cost (if used multiple times). The same premise applies to reusable bottles, straws, and containers, in lieu of eliminating single-use plastics in the office or at home. If you are after immediate gratification, there are some sustainable habits you can adopt at home that can help you experience the cost benefits sooner rather than later.
Install Low Flow Shower Heads And Water Aerators
Water usage is a large part of the eco-friendly debate. American households waste 9,400 gallons of water annually, according to the United States of America Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, they also estimate that we can reduce our water usage by 20 percent by simply installing water-efficient fixtures such as low flow showerheads.
Showers account for around 22 percent of water usage in households and by installing an expensive water aerator or low flow showerhead, some claim you can save as much as 50 percent of both water usage and heating costs. Most low flow faucets cost $5-$10 while low flow showerheads can average $8-$50, depending on the features and model. With the average American water bill being $70.39 per month, that equates to a saving of $14 per month, using EPA’s 20 percent cost reduction estimation.
Invest In A Smart Heating System
Around 45 percent of a home’s energy goes towards heating and cooling, according to Energy Star. In financial terms, that is between $2,100 and $2,500 each year. A smart home heating system can cost as little as $40 or in some cases, cost as much as $300. However, it allows you to avoid overheating and limit it to when and where it is needed- a key feature in idle home heating. Builder Insights estimates that for every 1 degree Farenheit you reduce your home heating, you use 1 percent less energy. By installing a smart heating system you can expect to see savings of 10-30 percent, starting with your very next heating bill after installation.
Get Into Gardening
With Spring in full bloom, there is no better time to get outside and test out your gardening skills. By composting your food waste and dedicating a small portion of your garden, you can dedicate yourself to a new hobby and grow your own produce in the process- reducing your food bill. Supplies for creating a garden at home are minimal since you can use homemade compost for fertilization. Best of all, once your crops grow the reduction to your grocery bill is immediate.
While on the topic of food waste, adopt a ‘nothing goes in the trash’ attitude in the kitchen. The average household spend on groceries in America can range between $314 in Atlanta to $516 in Seattle, yet 31.9 percent of it ends up in the trash. Bulk cooking and meal prepping can help you use up all your food before they go bad while simple habits like writing and list and checking your pantry or refrigerator before heading to the supermarket can help you eliminating mindless or double buying.
While the cost-saving benefits are often seen in the long term, there are still ways you can do your part for the environment and save money now. All it takes is a bit of DIY, creativity, and commitment to the cause. Your wallet will thank you for it.