Going green doesn’t have to suck all the green out of your wallet. Try these five eco-friendly ways to pad your bank account. You’ll help save the environment while keeping more cash in your bank.
Use Public Transportation
Image via Flickr by Oran Viriyincy
Although the cost of owning a car has fallen in recent years, drivers can still expect to pay about $9,000 per year. Using public transportation usually costs significantly less, although the exact amount and convenience varies from city to city.
No matter where you live, though, taking the bus, train, or subway is a more eco-friendly way to get around town. Personal vehicles create a lot of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Some reports show that transportation in the U.S. accounts for about 29 percent of the country’s greenhouse gases.
By using public transit, you keep more money in your bank account and you help protect the air.
Make Money Selling Eco-friendly Products
A lot of the items for sale at your local retail store contain ingredients that can harm the environment. A lot of detergents, for instance, are made with phosphate that can contribute to algae blooms in local waterways.
You can find better alternatives at a lot of health food stores, but those retailers usually charge higher prices. Instead of spending more to protect the environment, you can make money by selling those products yourself.
Becoming an Amway seller is an easy way to get these products at the lowest possible prices. You’ll be able to buy your own products at discounted prices and make money by selling them to your eco-conscious friends.
Install Solar Panels
Most electricity is made by burning fossil fuels like natural gas and coal. These fuels release excessive amounts of carbon and other pollutants into the atmosphere. In fact, it’s one of the biggest problems facing today’s environmentalists.
Using solar panels to generate your own electricity at home nearly eliminates these negative consequences. Solar panels do not create any emissions. They generate electricity by converting the sun’s energy into a usable form.
The benefits of using solar panels are well-known. A lot of people avoid solar technology, though, because they think it is too expensive. The truth is that prices have fallen in recent years and they are expected to keep falling over the next several years.
By making your own electricity at home, you won’t have to pay your local utilities company. Depending on where you live, you could even sell your unneeded electricity to make a little extra money.
Stop Buying Bottled Water
The average person in the U.S. goes through 167 bottles of water every year. Unfortunately, not all of those bottles end up at the recycling plant. Instead, they go into landfills or, even worse, become litter that eventually makes its way into lakes, rivers, and oceans.
The convenience of bottled water hurts your bank account as well as the environment. Since a bottle of water costs $1.45 on average, you probably spend over $240 per year. Even the most expensive reusable water bottles cost less than $50. Most cost less than $20. That means you could make your money back in less than a month. And you’ll do it without adding to the planet’s garbage problem.
Eat Less Meat
If you’re serious about saving the environment, you have to eat less meat. Ideally, you would eliminate meat from your diet, but most people are unwilling to do that even after they learn how harmful the meat industry is.
Inefficiency is the industry’s biggest problem. About 60 percent of the planet’s farmland is devoted to raising crops that are then fed to cattle. Areas that don’t have available grasslands often tear down forests, including rainforests, so they can produce more meat. That’s a double-whammy that harms the soil and the air.
By giving up or reducing the amount of meat you eat, you help offset the growing demand for beef, pork, and chicken. You’ll also lower the amount of money that you spend on food. Increased demand for meat means that prices are getting higher every year.
When you remove yourself from that system, you don’t spend as much money on groceries. Even if you can only save a dollar or two per day, the savings will add up quickly.
Saving the world isn’t as hard as you think. You can even pad your bank account while doing it.