How to reduce or eliminate your climate change impact by acting and buying green. Living a sustainable lifestyle means something slightly different to everyone. The end goal is that everyone becomes a little more conscious of how they are using the earth’s resources and takes small but meaningful steps to reduce their impact.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your sustainable living journey.
Start by taking a mental inventory of where you are currently. Then, make changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle so that we can move toward a greener future together 🙂
Even politicians are having to come around to the fact global warming and climate change are issues that we are going to have to deal with in the near future.
If we know that global warming and climate change is a major problem, then why not tackle it today…Rather than put it off, and let it grow into a larger issue that we still have to face tomorrow.
There are two ways for us to tackle this problem.
The answer is to act in ways that prevent global warming, and purchase products from companies that consciously manufacture goods with social and environmental integrity.
What Does it Mean to Live Sustainably?
Sustainable living is not just about reducing your carbon output. Here is a quick list of meanings that come to my mind when someone says the word sustainability:
Use fewer natural resources.
Water conservation (only 1% of the world’s water resources can be used by humans). Reduce your water waste with this low-flow water conversion kit and save up to 12,000 gallons of water.
Throw fewer things away by reusing, re-gifting, or donating them.
Buy zero-waste, biodegradable, and all-natural products
Re-use the plastic bottles you already own (use an empty sriracha bottle as a squirt bottle for your all-natural cleaning solutions. You hide your cleaning solutions in a cabinet where no one sees them anyway!)
Take action today, and remember to visit the Sustainability Shop to start using zero-waste, plastic alternative, and biodegradable products.
Sometimes it may seem like it is impossible to find money at the end of the month to put towards your retirement account. This is why it is critical to making the most of every dollar! Insulating your home is one of the most effective ways to decrease your energy bill by going green. Another benefit is that many energy efficiency updates qualify for tax credits and utility company rebates!
You can double or even triple up on your savings! Consequently, you can put all of these savings towards your tax-advantaged retirement account!
How Much Can You Save by Properly Insulating Your Home?
In short, by adding insulation to your home you can reduce heating and cooling costs anywhere from 10% to 50%.
Of course, the amount you save depends on where you live and how much insulation you already have.
You’ll spend about half that if you do the job yourself!
So if you are nifty and have a spare weekend, add it to your list of DIY projects and save a cool $800. This also means that your payback period is also cut in half!
Visit the Sustainability Shop and under the tab called Energy Efficient Home you will find many insulation products to start saving money today!
The Nonbusiness Energy Property Tax Credit:
As of the 2018 tax year, the federal government offers the Nonbusiness Energy Property Tax Credit. These credits are good through 2019 and then are reduced each year through the end of 2021.
This means that if you are interested in taking advantage of the biggest federal renewable energy tax credit, you will need to take action within the next year!
The Nonbusiness Energy Property Tax Credit allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. On the same tax form, there is an area that allows you to deduct a portion of the cost to increase the insulation in your home.
The link to the tax form is included in a later portion of this article for your convenience.
The credit is equal to 30% of the cost, including installation. Moreover, there is no upper limit on the amount of the credit for solar, wind, and geothermal equipment.
The Increase Your Financial IQ Course will be released soon and will cover how to write-off solar energy improvements to your investment properties.
You can sign up for the Free Increase Your Financial IQ Mini-Email Course to get notified when the full-blown Increase Your Financial IQ Course becomes available. The mini-email course is designed to show you how easily you can save for retirement, and how to use a tax-advantaged account to reach over $1,000,000 in savings.
Equipment that Qualifies for the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit:
The credit includes costs to install solar, wind, geothermal and fuel-cell technology updates to your home.
Solar panels for generating electricity
Solar-powered water heaters. The water heated by the system must be used inside the home, and at least half of the home’s water-heating capacity must be solar. (Solar heaters for swimming pools and hot tubs do not qualify.)
Wind turbines that generate up to 100 kilowatts of electricity that must also be used in the home.
Geothermal heat pumps that meet federal Energy Star guidelines.
Fuel cells that rely on a renewable resource (usually hydrogen) to generate power for a home. The equipment must generate at least 0.5 kilowatts of power.
For the average person, the solar panel and wind turbine options are going to be the easiest to install, with the fewest regulations to get past.
Nonbusiness Energy Property Tax Credit:
Equipment and materials must meet technical efficiency standards that have been set by the Department of Energy.
Manufacturers typically advertise that their item meets this standard. In short, if a product does not advertise that it meets the standard, be sure to ask prior to purchasing.
Turbo tax does a great job explaining the two kinds of energy efficiency improvements that you can write off. I have listed them here for your convenience…
For this credit, the IRS distinguishes between two kinds of upgrades:
1. Qualified Energy Efficiency Improvements:
Exterior windows and skylights
Home insulation (Just about all types: fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool, spray foam, foam board, and cotton batting qualify for the energy tax credit)
Certain roofing materials
2. Residential Energy Property Costs:
Electric heat pumps
Electric heat pump water heaters
Central air conditioning systems
Natural gas, propane or oil water heaters
Stoves that use biomass fuel
Natural gas, propane or oil furnaces
Natural gas, propane or oil hot water boilers
Advanced circulating fans for natural gas, propane or oil furnaces
There are a few credit restrictions, like a maximum of a $200 credit for windows. For a full list be sure to consult your tax accountant. You can review Turbo Tax’s exceptions list here.
Remember it is critically important to save your receipts and labels for Uncle Sam.
Which Tax Form to Use:
The form to use to claim your solar or wind credit is called The Residential Energy Credit Form 5695, which is filed with your tax return.
On this same form, you can add any write-offs you have made to insulate your home.
For insulation updates, you can write off 10% of expenditures, up to $500 for the year. This amount is for all energy improvements combined.
The R-value measures the home’s resistance to air flow, which means less heated or cooled air escapes. The higher the number value, the better the insulating power.
The Department of Energy (DOE) recommends an R-value between 30 to 60, depending on where you live.
According to the EnergyStar website, the recommended level for most attics is to insulate to R-38 or about 10 to 14 inches, depending on insulation type.
I have inserted a photo of a map of the US and a chart with the recommended values provided by the DOE.
Eco Economics will be Offering Two kinds of Courses:
The Sustainability Course: How to live a sustainable lifestyle and save money by going green.
The Increase your Financial IQ Course: How to achieve financial freedom by using tax-advantaged accounts, understanding proper financial planning, and wealth creation through real estate.
The two courses are designed to be taken together so that one shows you how to save money, while the other shows you how to reinvest that money to help you achieve financial freedom.
A Few of the Topics That are Covered Are:
Money-saving green swaps and actions that you can take to save our planet
How to maximize the energy efficiency of your home (reduce your utility bills)
Find the right renewable energy solution to give you energy independence (reduce or eliminate the impact of utility rate increases).
How to reduce your carbon output
How to start your own carbon sequestering organic garden
If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to share! By sharing we can help others save money by going green, all the while saving the planet together! Remember, it is our own lives and futures at stake.
Saving for retirement and a down payment for a home may seem like it is an impossible task, especially with all of the other bills you have coming in. I am going to share 8 easy ways to save for a down payment on a home and a Roth IRA retirement account. Retirement and home ownership are possible, you just have to rework some of your daily habits.
To fully fund a Roth IRA account you must save $15 a day (that’s $458 per month or $5,500 per year).
To save $5,000 a year, you must save $13.50 a day.Over 4 years you will have saved $20,000 for a down payment on a house.
Thus, with $29 a day you can you can fully fund a Roth IRA (that will grow to over $1,000,000 in 40 years) and save for a down payment on a home.
If you believe in the power of crystals, this is a great way to give your water an awesome energy boost!
For thousands of years, ancient civilizations have utilized the power of crystals to release mental, physical and spiritual blockages, thus facilitating the free flow of energy throughout our bodies.
Click here to read more about the healing power of crystals.
4. Bring a Flask and Pre-Game!
The average mixed drink is probably between $10 and $12.
What really drove home the concept of how expensive drinks are, was that I lived in the land of $20 vodka Redbull‘s for 5 years (Vegas).
So I found that I could save a ton of money by bringing a flask and pre-gaming before I went out.
Yes, I have had a few friends give me a questioning look when I bust the flask out… But halfway through the night, they are asking for a swig…
Moreover, now that I am in my 30’s I find that I don’t really go to clubs and bars anymore. Instead, I find myself at friend’s houses having a cocktail or a glass of wine.
The point is that one cocktail is about the same price as the cost of a meal!
Plus, you tend to drink more than one cocktail when you are out.
5. Enjoy the Great Outdoors!
I love going outside to play. Outdoor activities (like hiking) are free or have a relatively small start-up equipment cost.
A really fun indoor activity is salsa dancing.
What’s really great is that many places offer free salsa lessons!
Another benefit is that salsa is an awesome cardio workout.
In fact, it is a great way to meet new people if you are single, and an even better way to work on non-verbal communication and team building skills if you have a significant other.
Not to mention, Latin dance is very sexy and can help spice up your romantic life.
I used to go to the gym quite often, but now I find that I do all of my exercises outdoors and for free. An added bonus is that you get to experience the outdoors, re-connect with nature, and breath fresh air.
I typically walk 2.5 miles a day, salsa 2x per week, and in the winter I go skiing.
When I worked in an office, I would eat at my desk and walk for my 1-hour lunch. I was able to walk 2.5 miles in that 1-hour lunch break.
6. Cut the Cable:
I haven’t owned a TV since high school. I do have Netflix, and it is so much cheaper!
Additionally, I don’t have to watch advertisements.
On the other hand, I love listening to audiobooks. I mostly read nonfiction, but for fun, I listen to high fantasy and sci-fi books.
In the Increase your Financial IQ Course I teach you the secret of how I crush a book every 1.5 weeks!
Animals are treated with antibiotics and hormones, which we ingest.
Biomagnification of pesticides. The grain and corn that cows are fed have tons of pesticides, and cows eat tons of it.
Increase in greenhouse gasses (cows produce a lot of methane)
Cruelty to animals
Cowspiracy is an environmental documentary that explains how animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption, pollution, and is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry.
Saving for the future is something that you probably know that you need to do, but may not be sure how to go about or where to find the funds to invest. The good news is that I am going to show you exactly how you can save for a down payment on a home and fully fund a Roth IRA! It is as simple as finding and saving $29 a day!
One key thing to keep in mind is that every dollar has an opportunity cost.
An opportunity cost is the benefit that you miss out on when choosing one option over another.
Saving is the Core of Investing:
The government gives you incentives for reinvesting your money… because you have to sacrifice some of the things that you like today, in order to save so that you can have funds to invest with.
Saving money can be hard, but it can also be easy…
My personal goal is to achieve financial freedom. I’m not interested in a huge house with a lavish car.
That’s how you get stuck in the rat race.
If you are renting a large home, just remember that your rent payment is someone else’s investment cash flow and mortgage payment.
Remember, the more house you have, the more cleaning you have to do.
The larger the house, the more stuff can fit in it (and the more stuff you need to buy to furnish it).
The bigger the house, the bigger the mortgage. Which equates to fewer savings you can devote towards investing into an asset that actually provides you additional income.
My biggest recommendation for you is to live below your means.
If you earn $1 million and you spend $1 million, you’re still living month-to-month!
Growing your own garden has many health benefits, not to mention it reduces your carbon footprint. I have created this handy Gardening Tips and Tricks to Prevent Global Warming Starter Guide to encourage you to consider the benefits of growing your own organic fruits and vegetables. The goal of this article is to point out the main benefits of starting an organic garden, and how to plant a diverse vegetable mixture to give you a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Benefits of Planting Your Own Organic Garden:
Here is a list of benefits that gardening can bring to your life:
Reduces the transportation fuel (carbon output) used to ship vegetables across oceans and highways to get to your local store.
UN scientists have released a warning stating that the world has less than 15 years to reduce the carbon output to nearly 0 or else face serious climate change consequences. Planting a garden is a way you can make a difference by helping sequester carbon from the atmosphere!
Organic food tastes better because it is fresher and is able to ripen on the vine (instead of a gas chamber).
Many people live in cities, which are cement jungles surrounded by black asphalt (roads and parking lots). That being said, dark materials absorb heat which is why cities tend to be hotter than their surrounding areas. Adding vegetation provides shade and breaks up all off of that dark material.
Grow fresh vegetables forever! Fruits and vegetables have seeds that you can harvest at the end of the year. Meaning that you can use the seeds to start your garden next year!!!
A fun and family-friendly activity that can inspire you to take an interest in the origins of your food and make better choices about what you put on your plate.
Health Benefits of Gardening:
Eliminates the addition of chemical pesticides that you are currently putting into your body.
No chemical fertilizers. In short, worm casting is nature’s Miracle Grow and is anall natural organic fertilizer! Read on to learn about worm casting.
It helps you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
Adds a bit of exercise to your life.
Breath fresher air by being outside. People are often stuck inside an office all day. Taking the time to tend to your garden will give you an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
Plants increase oxygen production. The air around your home will be fresher (less carbon dioxide).
Help Prevent Global Warming by Starting an Organic Garden:
Now that I have your attention with this serious list of benefits. Let’s get you started on your money saving, healthy, better for the environment path to an organic garden!
I have put together a gardening kit that will get you started on your journey. For additional resources, visit the Sustainability Shop 🙂
You can reduce the amount of waste that is headed to a landfill by composting your food scraps.
Another benefit is that composting recycles nutrients, which can be used to start your own organic vegetable garden.
Nutrients from a compost pile is better for your health and cheaper than purchasing chemical fertilizers.
This stainless steel bin controls odors naturally with an airtight lid and a replaceable activated-charcoal filter.
It holds 1.3-gallons of compost. It is big enough to hold several days’ worth of kitchen waste like vegetable peels, fruits, and coffee grounds, yet still small enough to fit on your countertop.
Dimensions: 7.16” in diameter x 11” high.
The compost bin is molded from one piece of metal, so it resists rust and leaks. Moreover, it does not leak toxic chemicals into your compost pile.
Benefits of Worm Casting:
I am sure you are aware of how healthy bacteria (probiotics) help us digest food. Well, worm poop (worm casting) combines enzymes and positive bacteria to provide plants with optimal nutrition content.
Many of the nutrients that plants need to thrive can be found in large quantities within earthworm castings. Nutrients include magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, iron, cobalt, borax, manganese, nitrogen, and carbon.
High levels of microbial activity have the following benefits:
Helps plants grow faster.
Increases soil aeration, which helps plants absorb nutrients and allows their roots to breath properly.
Is all-natural! The consumption of fewer chemicals is vital to a healthier lifestyle. Worm casting allows you to grow “organic” vegetables!
No heavy metals. Worms actually have the ability to absorb heavy metals like copper, lead, and cadmium from the soil. This means that the castings are heavy metal-free. This reduces the likelihood that those metals will end up in your vegetables and on your plate!
Burn-proof. Often times fertilizers are too high in nitrogen, which burns your plants. Casting will never burn the roots of your plants 🙂
It is a natural pesticide!Save money on pesticides while avoiding the need to spray chemicals.
Increases your crop yield :). In 2014, Nature Research published a study that showed that crops grown in worm castings produce 25% more yield.
To get your organic garden rocking-and-rolling with the worm casting kit, grab 300 hundred live Red Worms and you will be all set!
These red worms turn organic waste into nutrient-rich soil!
The manufacturer even guarantees live delivery!
The 10,000 Foot Overview:
Often times we feel helpless because global warming can feel like such a big problem to tackle.
But, know that you can make a difference by making small changes to your daily actions. We all got ourselves into this climate change dilemma, and we all have to pitch in together to get ourselves out.
Let’s look to ourselves before we look to judge how others act. We can make a paradigm shift towards a sustainable planet if we make it the new “cool thing to do”.
Followers will always follow the trend, so be a leader and make sustainability the “new trend”.
Planting a garden is a way you can make a difference and help sequester carbon from the atmosphere!
I have listed a few of the benefits of planting your own organic garden. With some creativity, you can think of many other reasons how gardening can benefit your health and the planet.
Of course, I encourage you to add additional gardening benefits or tips to growing a successful garden by commenting at the bottom of this article.
If global warming, climate change, and resource depletion are important to you, then pre-enroll for a free mini-course to learn about other money-saving sustainability swaps and actions that you can take to save the world!
Moreover, becoming a Sustainability Hero has health, environment, and budget benefits.
Click here to visit the Sustainability Shop to start using zero-waste, plastic alternative, and biodegradable products today.
The shop includes energy efficiency and water conservation conversion kits, solar products, zero-waste, and minimally packaged home goods.