It’s a pretty straightforward thought – you reduce your energy consumption, you save money! Being environmentally conscious can mean you are depending lesser on or buying lesser ‘manufactured’ products, therefore spending lesser money. But the message is often wiped out when the focus falls on how overwhelmingly expensive organic food is or how much more it costs to have a solar installation at home. The consequential investment recovery stays out of the purview.
Eco warriors have made sustainability a way of life – being mindful, questioning what’s necessary, retaining the integrity of things and repairing what can be. Not too different with what should be done with your money! Going green in simple everyday acts can make a positive difference to your monthly budgets.
Part of this change requires you to rethink some of the things you take for granted:
A to-do list is often dismissed as a geeky habit. But when put to use, it can help you plan, prioritize and save. One of the biggest advantages of putting things in writing is that it helps instil the feeling of pursuit. A list ensures you make fewer but combined trips, whether to the supermarket or to run errands or for anything else – keeps you organized and saves you precious time, money and fuel!
The life mantra of a green enthusiast – the 3 Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is the most effective and sustainable way of smart spending.
- Reduce – You can cut back on electricity bills by putting off unnecessary appliances when not in use. Appliances and devices in standby mode still consume electricity.
- Reuse – Use a water purifier/ filter at home instead of buying packaged water. Carry your own bottle of water when out. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of plastic waste.
- Recycle your old things – Whether it’s paper and plastic or that not in use old phone which is collecting dust. There are several agencies to help you with this. Not only do you make a few bucks off it but also do the right thing of disposing responsibly.
Needs vs. Wants
Consumerism is a bully! We are constantly sold what we don’t need but want. Stop keeping up with the Joneses! If you find yourself coveting your friend’s/ neighbour’s glamorous lifestyle, it is time to re-evaluate your own spending pattern. Part of being sustainable is to question the need of something – if you REALLY need something. The lesser you buy, the lesser wastage you create and of course, the lesser money you spend.
This is not the first time you’ve heard this and it will not be the last time you hear it. Fuel consumption is one of the biggest environmental concerns, notwithstanding a significant portion of the monthly budget. How can you cut back on this – plan, pool and go public! We talked about plan in point 1. Carpooling with colleagues/ friends on the same route will help you share the fuel costs, while cutting down on traffic on the roads. There are several police-verified carpooling groups in your city. Check and pick that is suitable for you. Perhaps you could utilize public transportation on a few days! And if you can help it, telecommute! With technology enabling interaction, choose to do your meetings online than on-site.
Do the New
Every sceptic who has initially dismissed that growing one’s own vegetables has eaten his/ her own word and the vegetable! While the return on this may not be very promising in the first few months, with care, over a period of time you can save a significant amount in your personal budget. Start with the easiest to grow in a home garden: tomatoes, potatoes and greens.
The little things
Have you heard about Black Google? Blackl is an energy saving Google custom search engine. By displaying darker colours, this system ensures that the monitors use less energy. You can further save on energy costs by investing in a good solar mobile charger. You will not need to consume any more electricity for your phone, ever again.
By being mindful, you can find and plug the leaks, which will eventually help in building wealth.
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