Have you ever noticed that wealthy celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio are some of the biggest proponents of green living? That isn’t a coincidence. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that only rich people can afford to live a green lifestyle.
Don’t fall for this myth. There are plenty of ways that you can help the environment without hurting your finances. In fact, there are even a lot of ways that you can save money by being environmentally conscious.
Here are a few to consider.
Use green tax credits to find energy efficient home improvements
Investing in solar panels, geothermal harvesting technology or other green home improvements can be a great way to save money over the long run. Many of these investments can pay for themselves within 10 years.
They can pay for themselves even more quickly if you use green tax credits to your advantage. You can claim up to $500 in tax credits for sustainable home improvements. Make sure that you understand the eligibility criteria and still do your due diligence to find green improvements that match your budget. You also need to check the Energy Star ratings to see how much energy you will save over the long run.
Look for a low interest green credit card
A number of credit cards offer you the chance to make donations to green nonprofits instead of earning traditional rewards. Many of them also have low interest rates. Shop around and find a card that offers a reasonable rate.
However, you may need to improve your credit score to qualify. There are a number of programs like Freedom Debt Relief that can help.
Use natural cleaning supplies to save money and protect environment at the same time
Kimberly button, the author of “The everything guide to a healthy home” emphasizes the multiple benefits of using natural cleaning products. She says that baking soda and vinegar are both much cheaper and better for the environment.
The savings may seem small, but they will add up faster than you expect. You will be surprised by how much the average person spends on cleaning products every year.
Grow your own produce
Few people are able to save money these days. Less than a quarter of the population has more than a few months’ worth of living expenses saved up. One of the biggest reasons for this is the rising cost of food.
The average young adult spends $173 a week on food. Can you imagine how much further your budget would go if you were able to cut your food purchases?
The good news is that there are ways to do that, while also slashing your impact on the environment. One of the best options is to grow your own food. Not only is growing your own food prudent financial decision, but it is also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
You don’t need a ton of land to grow your food. Even two or three acres can make a big difference. Consider planting some nut trees, beans, leafy greens (especially kale) and tomatoes. If the climate you live in is able to produce rice, then you should try growing that as well. You will get lots of vital nutrients and enough protein and complex carbohydrates to make multiple meals a week. Rice, beans and green vegetables are technically enough to sustain yourself by themselves.
Use paperless couponing
Cutting coupons is a great way to save money. Some people are able to save over $6000 every couple of months with the right coupons.
However, there is a clear downside to cutting coupons. They are usually made with paper. Paper obviously is produced by cutting trees and processing pope to turn it in the paper. The entire process is hazardous for the environment.
The good news is that there are plenty of paperless coupons as well. Downloading them from a site like the Grocery Coupon Network can be a great way to save money while also protecting the environment.
Going green and getting your financial house in order don’t have to be incompatible
You don’t need to be Leonardo DiCaprio to care about the environment and practice what you preach. There are lots of ways that you can be environmentally friendly on a tight budget. Following these tips can be a great start.