There is a perception that going plastic-free or zero-waste comes with a high price tag. After all, bulk stores that allow this kind of lifestyle are often more expensive than regular grocery stores where everything comes in non-biodegradable shopping. Moreover, many social media influencers who follow an eco-friendly lifestyle promote reusable products from brands that are not financially accessible to the majority of the public.
However, you can actually save money in the long run by opting for choices that benefit the Earth. Here’s how:
Using solar energy has a reputation of being more expensive than what is readily available through the grid. This is no longer true. With increasing adoption, solar panels for private or even commercial use are more affordable now than ever.
One key benefit of solar energy is cost. While installation can be a little pricey upfront, in the long run, you can save money because it significantly reduces, or even eliminates your monthly electricity bill. That is why more businesses are opting for commercial solar in Utah and across North America. It frees up money that a business owner can reinvest into marketing or employee bonuses.
Bring Your Own Cup
Drinking coffee or an alcoholic beverage is a normal part of social events. For many, getting a cup of joe every morning is a necessity to prepare themselves for an entire day of work. Unfortunately, these generate so much waste.
Some coffee and tea shops reward customers who bring reusable cups by giving them a discount. Albeit small, this cost accumulates and, eventually, you will get back the $25 you spent on the reusable cup. Similarly, a person who brings water in a reusable bottle can save hundreds of dollars ($260 for an average American, according to iSustainableEarth.com) per year by avoiding plastic bottles.
Buy it for Life
The mass production of cheap and unsturdy products — from clothes to furniture — is a serious environmental problem. It encourages an economy wherein people buy items that they only use once or twice then tossed to a landfill where it will never biodegrade.
Invest in pieces that you will be able to use all over again and will be with you for years to come instead of something that may be cheap but will break down after a couple of weeks. More often, a product that is more expensive uses high-quality materials and adheres to strict quality standards.
Of course, this is not always the case. Some products are expensive because they are sold by a luxury brand rather than as a testament to its quality. In the long run, a product that may cost several hundred dollars that works well and useable dozens of times are worth the price. A product that you will only use once not only produces more garbage that will never disappear from the face of the Earth, but is also a waste of money.
Being eco-friendly is not always expensive, however. Often, making eco-friendly choices means buying second hand and repairing, instead of tossing, items you already have at home. Other everyday products such as shampoo bars and soaps you can make on your own. You can even plant your own food so you can make sure that what you are eating is organic and fresh. Moreover, you contribute to the global effort to save the environment by simply not buying products that you do not need.