What does it mean to “go green”? To many, it generally means making a commitment to be a good steward of the earth’s resources on a daily basis. Going green will likely have an impact on your lifestyle and your finances. Those who choose to be green should be ready to:
Be savvy consumers. Plan to spend more time researching your purchases – paying attention to how products are made, what they contain, how they are transported and packaged, as well as what type of waste they generate. When you know what makes a product truly green, you can be more confident in your choices.
Pay more for goods and services. Green products are typically more expensive to make than mainstream merchandise. This is because many green companies commit to using higher quality ingredients or sustainable production methods. In other cases, green products are made by small or local businesses, which may drive up the cost. Before making a purchase, ask questions to understand the item’s price. Keep in mind that as more green products emerge and manufacturers figure out how to scale production without compromising green principles, prices are likely to fall.
Modify your household. Each room in your home provides an opportunity for you to conserve energy or water. Whether it’s a “smart” appliance in your kitchen, sun shades that work along with your thermostat in your living room or a low-flow showerhead in your master bath, you can incorporate your green lifestyle into your home. While green upgrades may reduce your carbon footprint or reduce your utility bills over time, these improvements will likely cost you more up front. Coordinate your hardware store list with your budget for best success.
Invest in the future. If the future of the earth is one of your values, you may want to consider incorporating this value into your investing strategy. This approach, called sustainable investing, may offer a potential return on investment that may help you reach your goals while benefiting the causes you care about. Investors who engage in sustainable investing make investment decisions based on a mix of traditional performance factors and their own personal values. Talk to a financial professional who can help you navigate the pros and cons of altering your strategy.
Realign spending habits. Green consciousness has a way of altering your approach to everyday tasks, which may impact your finances. As you make more green choices, watch your budget to make sure the two are in alignment.