Earth Day: One for the Money

3 Apr

In this post I asked two questions to jump-start our month-long celebration of Earth Day. These questions are intended to provide some direction in adopting new green practices:

1. What is important to you?
2. What are your most abundant and least abundant resources?

This post explores one answer to the first question that I thought was significant: Saving Money.

Recycle

Environmentally friendly habits are often hyped as “money saving” practices, but I admit that this is only true some of the time. Going green generally means using fewer material resources which can translate into savings for the consumer. However, some eco-friendly alternatives are undeniably more expensive than their conventional competitors. There are also a number of green technologies that cost more initially but save money over time, either through the longevity of the product or by reducing use of resources.

I suspect that supply and demand plays a part in driving up the price of eco-friendly products, and I hope that as demand for green alternatives increases and more companies start manufacturing them, competition will drive prices down. However, I also believe that some green products and services require more labor than their conventionally manufactured competitors which can drive up their price, particularly if the company pays its workers an ethical wage.

If we look at the math only from the perspective of dollars and cents the decision to buy these products doesn’t add up. If you can’t afford to buy more expensive green products I’m not here to judge you. There are still plenty of other ways to live that can save money and the planet.

However, if you are financially capable of spending a little more when you are shopping, I would like to ask you to consider the trade-offs. Every time we spend money we are supporting the practices of the companies we buy from. Do they share your ethics?

In the ideal world no one has to worry about money. But our world is far from ideal, and money can be a significant push and pull factor in determining green behaviors. The ongoing debate about the economics of climate change is a fantastic example of this.

I want to leave you with those thoughts for now. I plan to explore money saving ways to go green in a later post.

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3 Responses to “Earth Day: One for the Money”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Earth Day: Going Green to Save Green | Without a Map - April 16, 2013

    […] an earlier post I shared some of my own discoveries behind earth friendly practices and money savings. In this post […]

  2. Earth Day: And Beyond! | Without a Map - April 29, 2013

    […] of the reasons I thought of were to save money, to help someone else, because you just love the planet, or just because it’s the cool thing to […]

  3. Earth Day: All In One Place | Without a Map - August 27, 2014

    […] 1, Earth Day: For Every Lifestyle April 2, Earth Day: Recycling Challenge April 3, Earth Day: One for the Money April 4, Earth Day: Sustainability and You April 5, Shorter Showers Challenge April 6, Earth Day: […]

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