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Five Green Options For Thrifty Consumers

Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Markus Schmidt-Karaca

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People are adopting an environmental perspective on just about every element of their lives these days. The reasons are obvious. When one of the largest insurance underwriters in the world, Allianz, pledged to stop designing risk management models on North American coastal real estate after the year 2045, they were sending a clear message. They have a genuine concern about global climate change.

Even in today’s corporate buyback climate, sustainable practices to reduce our environmental impact is not only a talking point. It is a very big conviction. Everyone wants to be green.

But the sad reality is that many eco-solutions are not wholly practical, yet. Personal care products are produced with sustainable practices, but are fairly expensive. Organic foods are better than their chemical-laced counterparts, but they aren’t cheap either. While people say they might spend a bit little extra to help the environment, in practice – they usually aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is.

Here are a few green alternatives that may have been expensive when first introduced, but real-world testing and developments have reduced their prices and bolstered their reliability.

1. Electric Cars

The electric car pollutes much less than its gasoline-powered counterpart. But buying an electric car, even with government tax rebates, used to require about a 30-to-35-percent premium over an equally-equipped gasoline model.

However, with the success of cheaper electric models, such as the Fiat 500E, which you can lease for less than $100 per month, buyers at the lower end of the market have discovered the electric car, and that will drop prices even further.

If you do end up deciding to go electric, you can save even more money, and use less electricity, by having a professional EV charger installation for your home, especially if you plan to become a multi electric car family.

2. Take a Local Vacation

Among the biggest atmospheric carbon producers are jet airliners, particularly the huge ones that fly the transcontinental routes. So, maybe, instead of going abroad this year, why not take a vacation near home instead?

The environmental benefits of skipping that long flight for a shorter haul drive will certainly reduce emissions. You might be surprised with some of the lesser wonders of the world that you can experience, right in your own extended neighborhood.

3. Reduce the Amount of Plastic That You Use

You’re starting to hear about it more and more – we are being overrun by the plastic that we produce. The problem is that plastic throwaway items, like straws and cups and plates and bags are not biodegradable. They don’t meld back into the environment like paper or wood products, and the proliferation of plastic junk is probably the most looming environmental catastrophe that we all face.

4. Stop the K-Cup Pods

One of the worst ideas ever was the Keurig Coffee Pod. The idea was to find a simple, hands-off, automatic way to brew a single cup of coffee quickly, so that an office worker would not have to get coffee from the office community pot, which normally sat on a hot plate for hours and, thus, grew bitter, dense, and stale. So this idea might have sounded good, in principle, but in execution it has been an environmental nightmare.

The problem is that since the cup, itself, is the brewing container. It must be made of a special, very robust plastic, in order to withstand high temperatures, maintain rigidity, and provide perfect moisture and oxygen barriers so that the coffee taste remains pure. Unfortunately, this makes the cup nearly indestructible and, thus, non-recyclable and non-biodegradable.

You need to ask yourself, which would you rather have – a perfect cup of coffee, anytime, for every single office worker on Earth? Or an Earth that isn’t being poisoned and destroyed by K-Cups. You can’t have both.

5. Home Energy Automation

Take a look at your smartphone and compare it to a single-function desk phone from the 1960s. They both provide the capability of connecting two persons in remote locations, via voice communication. But the smartphone also offers a hand-held computer that acts as your Personal Data Assistant (PDA) and can complete tasks for you anywhere in the world.

Now take a look at your home and compare it to a smart-home. They both provide shelter, security and interior temperature control. But the smart-home can monitor its own security, energy use, environmental atmosphere, and give you the capability of modifying these parameters from a remote location.

Smart-home technology is capable of easing the strain on our world’s environment more than any other technological advance – if enough people decide to adopt it.

Live a Greener Life Without Breaking the Bank

There are plenty of ways that you can live a greener lifestyle without bankrupting yourself. The good news is that green consumer options are becoming cheaper. Be both a budget and eco-conscious consumer and watch the savings add up!

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