You’ve read the facts, you’ve witnessed the impact, and now you’ve made the decision to take action and make your life as environmentally-friendly as possible. When you look up the financial cost to do so, however, you start to feel like that may be easier said than done: $25,000 for a solar panel? $15,00 to install a green roof? $33,000 for an electric car? You can feel your pockets emptying by the minute.
But did you know that even though the initial cost of these environmentally-friendly items is more expensive than the not-so-friendly items, your money can be returned to your pockets later on?
Here are some examples of how going green can save your hard-earned green:
- Solar panels
Cost: around $25,000
Solar panels lie on the roofs of homes, and consist of one or two layers of silicon-based semiconductor sheets. When struck by sunlight, an electrical charge is generated, therefore providing electricity and heat naturally to your home. They are definitely one of the more expensive applications to add to your home; however, statistics show that, in Long Beach, California for example, solar panels saved homeowners $131 a month.
- Green roofs
Cost: around $1500 to install
Green roofs are extensions of existing roof that are covered in plants and act as not only a drainage system, but are able to naturally heat and cool homes: Green roofs are 21 degrees cooler than a typical, flat stone roof, and they can also absorb heat in colder weather. Thanks to this, a homeowner can save around $104 a year.
- Electric cars
Cost: around $33,000
Electric cars run on electric battery instead of fuel, and the battery is charged whenever the car is braked. While the cost of these cars is more expensive than a basic fuel-running car, these machines are able to save $1,595 a year in gas costs.
- Energy Star appliances
Cost: estimate unknown, but usually slightly more expensive than typical appliances.
Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Any appliance with this label is qualified to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants by using less energy. While the price of these appliances is more expensive than the typical appliance, an Energy Star refrigerator for example, can save $100 a year in energy costs, an Energy Star washing machine can save as much as $110 a year, and an Energy Star dishwasher can save about $25 a year.
- Low-flow toilets
Cost: upon comparison, about $80 more than a typical toilet.
A low-flow toilet is a flush toilet that uses significantly less water than a full-flush toilet. Low-flush toilets use about 1.28 gallons of water per flush, as compared to typical toilets that use close to 4 gallons per flush. The decrease in the amount of water used can save a person about $20 per year.
Making the decision to adjust your lifestyle to be more green can be a little costly at first; however, not only will your pockets be happy for the returned money in savings later on, but your planet will be even more thankful for your decision to be a friendlier citizen.