Is Sustainable Living More Expensive?
If you are thinking about adopting a sustainable lifestyle but are afraid of the expense or inconvenience, think again! Sustainable living can not only be cheaper but more rewarding.
The first step to living a sustainable lifestyle is adopting a low-waste mindset. Instead of buying something new or throwing things away, ask yourself how you can repair, reimagine and reuse your current belongings. If you do have to buy something new, try to find that item secondhand or possibly rent it before purchasing it new. The average secondhand shopper saves an average of $1,760 a year on their pre-loved purchases, it only makes sense financially to purchase sustainably!
Next, if you buy the same single-use items over and over again, why not switch to a reusable option instead? Sustainable alternatives to disposable products are less wasteful and save money. Swapping out five everyday items with greener, reusable alternatives can save you approximately $475 - $870 per year.
A sustainable lifestyle is also often healthier. For example, dusting off your old bike and making short trips on a bike has been linked to better health and a longer life. It can also save $1,568 per year on fuel and maintenance when driving.
Food is another important aspect of a sustainable lifestyle. While a strictly vegan diet is not required to live a sustainable lifestyle, adopting a more plant-based diet can save you roughly $1,196 a year. However, at any level cutting animal proteins when possible is both good for the environment and your wallet. Meat is often more expensive than fruits, veggies, and legumes. Incorporating more plants in lieu of meat and dairy will reduce your grocery bill and your carbon footprint.
There are certainly times when a sustainable purchase may be more expensive upfront. But in the long term, buying energy-efficient appliances and renewable energy sources like solar panels will decrease your bills because you won't need to rely on non-renewable sources of energy. With a little investment upfront, making your home more energy efficient could save you $1,560 a year.
Altogether, these lifestyle adjustments could give you an extra $6,974 in your pocket every year. If everyone were to make similar shifts, we could save $26 trillion by 2030.