Making conscious decisions to reduce our ecological footprint is vital to caring for our planet. There are numerous ways to help, and evaluating your financial habits is one action you can take to create positive change.
Here are six easy money-saving tips that also happen to be beneficial to the environment:
Sell not Scrap
E-waste is becoming an increasingly prominent threat to our Earth’s health. As technology continues to rapidly advance, new models of products are released almost monthly. Instead of throwing out your outdated technology, there are many reselling sites and platforms (some examples include GadgetSail,Decluttr,uSell, and Gazelle) that make it easy to get cash for unwanted items. It’s as simple as describing the item, accepting the platform’s offer, and printing out the provided shipping label.
As of 2022, a reported 1.2 million plastic bottles are used per minute, of which approximately 91 percent are not recycled. This is an alarming figure when we consider that it takes almost 400 years for a single plastic bottle to decompose. Reduce your plastic pollution by opting for reusable water bottles instead and save money on repeated water purchases.
Consider Your Bulbs
60W lightbulbs generally cost about $4.80 per year to operate, based on an average usage of two hours per day. The bulb will last almost a year and a half at that rate. Compare those figures with that of a 12W LED bulb, which will cost $1.00 to operate, and will last nearly 35 years. With an average of 45 bulbs per household, you could save close to $150 per year. Swap out a couple of bulbs per week for ones that are 75 percent more energy-efficient, and over time, you’ll save money and consume less power.
Give Your Car a Break
Opt for public transit, biking, and carpooling whenever available. Cars can cost a fortune when you factor in maintenance, insurance, monthly payments, and registration fees. They are also costly to the environment because of the impact of fossil-fuel consumption on air quality. Further, with gas prices on the rise, getting to where you need to go is increasingly pricey.
All Beans, No Beef
One of the most effective methods to help our planet is to cut back on meat consumption. While going sans meat can be the best option, reserving meat-filled meals for the weekends or switching out red meat (beef, pork, lamb, etc.) for chicken or freshwater fish (not farmed) can all reduce your carbon emissions and minimize negative environmental implications. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) estimates that eating one less steak or burger a week has the same effect as taking your car off the road for three months. The Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition also discovered that when you swap meat for more fruits and veggies, you can save up to $750 a year. For more on this, reference studies by such reputable organizations as the Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA), the United Nations, and Oxford University.
Energy Star-certified products can save energy and big money in the long run. Most appliances — including washers, dryers, fridges, windows, insulation, furnaces, PCs, TVs, humidifiers, etc. — can be upgraded with more efficient ones. For example, if you live in Phoenix, Ariz., a new smart thermostat will conserve AC usage and even score you a $150 rebate from the Salt River Project. That’s a win for the Earth and your wallet.
Go Green with Your Bank
Bank with institutions that do their part to support the environment. For example, FirstBank is partnering with One Tree Planted to plant five trees for every FirstBank Bloom Package opened through August 31, 2022, with the goal of planting 50,000 trees across the Southwest. The FirstBank Bloom Package helps make saving money, and the planet, easy. Adopting small green habits such as those mentioned above can go a long way toward reducing your/our ecological footprint.
Phoenix Market President, FirstBank