Being green is the in thing lately. Everywhere you hear it. Go Green decorates magazine covers, book topics and there is even an entire television channel devoted to Green topics.
We all know that in the long run that being green is great for the environment. The question remains though, being a very selfish human some days, do I get any benefit from being green? I don’t mean that I am any less green, but do I reap any rewards, other than having a healthy environment.
The answer would be yes. Contrary to belief, not all of these side effects of being green are felt in the wallet.
Let’s take our cars for instance. A few years ago, I gave up my gas-guzzling car. Now the immediate effect was that I used a lot less gas. That in itself was a very good incentive. My insurance is now lower as well. I guess my little compact car is a lot safer, or worth a lot less to replace than that over sized van. However, those are monetary benefits, what are some of the other benefits.
My freedom is a big one. With that huge van, we may have traveled in comfort, but we could hardly ever afford to travel. Not only was the gas expensive, but the upkeep was high as well. Tires, brakes, and anything else that needed fixed or repaired was much higher than on my little car. I find that I can now travel to visit friends and family much more frequently. It also leads to less worry. Since this is a newer car and maintenance is less expensive. That is one less thing I need to worry. I love my little car. I love that it is a greener vehicle and I love the freedom that it gives me. I get a lot out of that green choice.
Now let’s talk about purchasing energy star appliances. It seems that they are all coming with that option now. Even the printer I purchased is energy star compliant. However, what good does it do me to purchase one based on its energy star seal?
Let’s talk washers and dryers. Most everyone has these, or certainly uses them. A few years ago, my ten-year-old washer quit. I mean died. Now at the time I had four kids and a husband at home, so I really needed a washer. I was lucky enough to purchase one from the scratch and dent section for half price. It was an energy star compliant. It was the latest and greatest. It doesn’t have an agitator and uses as little water as possible. I saved over $400 on the purchase price, you have to love that. My water usage for the water has decreased by half. To boot it has made my dryer last. I dread going and buying a new dryer and since I had purchased the original washer and dryer together, I knew that the purchase wasn’t far off. Here we are five years later and still no new dryer needed. You see the washer is so efficient at removing water from the clothes it takes a great deal of strain off my dryer. It has saved me money and it has saved the headache of shopping for and purchasing a new dryer. All because I was a bit green in my washer purchase.
One of the big pushes is recycling. It takes more time to recycle. You may actually have to sort through the things you intend to throw away. It takes time and effort to prepare your trash to go to the recycle bin. Now we are back to the question what can you get out of your time and effort. Many places offer a discount in waste removal if you recycle. This is a monetary incentive. We go through a lot less trash bags. This may seem like a small thing, but think about it. I am throwing less trash out. The trash that I do throw out is pretty condensed, so I am reducing my carbon footprint. When I purchase groceries, I think about the packaging. I always ask myself if I can recycle it. Think about milk. Milk in the cardboard containers cannot be recycled. Those in the plastic containers can be. Less trash to be thrown away. You should consider any packaging for purchases. If you have a choice, pick the greener one. If you live in an area that charges you for waste removal by the amount this can be a key to saving money.
Being green can save you money. It can save you time and your resources as well. It can give you freedom to do things that you may not have been able to do before. Being green isn’t all about what you can do for the environment globally, but what you can do for your own personal environment. Think about green as being your own personal savings account.