Being environmentally friendly is very on-trend. As it should be with climate change, high energy costs and our general modern environmental awareness. But I hear mixed reviews on whether making an effort to saving the environment also saves you money.
I’ll admit to only passively being environmentally friendly. I only use metal straws when I need one. I run a relatively paperless household save for toilet paper, kleenex and one notebook. I sort my garbage most of the time and wash my clothes in cold water. But I would never claim to be fully committed.
But I am committed to saving money, it’s pretty much the only long-term commitment I can handle. And if being environmentally friendly saves me money, I’d definitely be more motivated to up my game.
You Can Be Environmentally Friendly on a Budget
No one is expecting you to go out today and change your toilet to a dual-flush with reduced water waste. Ok, maybe someone is, but I’m not. Those of us on budgets can make an environmental impact, albeit small, by making small changes.
Two of the big ones for me were getting rid of my printer and investing in more kitchen towels. Total cost? About $3 from my local dollar store. Total savings? I’d say around $85 a year in paper towel costs and a ridiculous amount in ink savings because my printer never actually worked properly.
Small things mean small savings, but they’re still savings so they still count. Just think $85 here, $15 there, soon enough you’ll be saving a whole whack of cash that you can use towards other more important things like shoes, a new laptop case and glossy magazines with pictures of Chris Pine on his beach holiday… oh, sorry, is that just me?
It’s a Long-Term Savings Game
It turns out being environmentally friendly is more of a long-term savings game. If you can afford the fancy dual flush toilet, eco-friendly washer and dryer set or Elon Musk’s latest Tesla, you tend to pay a little more upfront. But, in the long run, these products tout their ability to save you money.
That said, I can’t confirm they will because I don’t have the cash to personally try them out. So if you’re headed down this route for money saving reasons, make sure to read the fine print and do your research.
When it comes to the smaller things, while you might be paying a tad bit more for something upfront, like $3 for a towel instead of $1 for a roll of paper towel, you won’t probably won’t have to replace that towel for another year or two (or four if you’re like me). Likewise, you won’t end up with $100 in your pocket if you switch from plastic straws to metal ones tomorrow, but in the long run you’ll save yourself money.
Every Little Bit Counts
When it comes to environmentalism, my philosophy has and always will be that every little bit counts. I know many people would disagree with me on this point saying bigger is better, and maybe it is. But most of us don’t have the extra cash for it.
If you can do the world a solid and cut your paper usage by 90% and wash your clothes with cold water all while saving a little bit of cash, why wouldn’t you?
How much have you saved with your environmentally friendly choices? Tell me in the comments below if you can beat my $85 in savings (then tell me how!)
Looking For More Environmentally Friendly Reads?
- Invest in Yourself with a Garden
- How To Save Energy While Using Tech-Based Devices
- A Guide to Utilities for First-Time Homeowners
Tae started out as a journalist before following the money into the corporate world. But it turns out that the grass isn’t always greener and now you can find her spending most of her time writing about all the things she loves. Namely, money, travel and business with a hefty dose of self-deprecating humor. She is a podcast fanatic, blogging aficionado and loves to find new ways to turn passions into cold hard cash!