How to Save for a Down Payment on a Home and fund a Roth IRA

How to Save for a Down Payment on a Home and fund a Roth IRA

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!

 

How to save for a down payment and a roth IRA

 

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!

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The Math: Why $29 Per Day?

 

In order to max out your Roth IRA, you need $5,500 to invest each year. If you break that down by 365 days a year, it comes out to $15 a day.

If you save $5,000 a year, over four years, you will have $20,000 for a down payment on a home.

$5,000 a day divided by 365 days is $13.50.

The average price of a home in the United States, as of this writing, is approximately $220,000 (photo provided by zillow.com).

zillow median home price You can get an FHA loan with 3.5% down.

$220,000 x 3.5%= $7,700

You will need closing costs, plus a cushion so that you aren’t sleeping on the floor of your new home. Thus, $20,000 is a safe number to have if you want to purchase a home.

You could get by with less, but I am a huge advocate of having a rainy day savings fund. We can’t predict the future and it is always good to have a cushion to fall back on.

So the moral of the story is, “if you can save $29 a day, every day, you can purchase a home and fund your retirement account.”

 

 

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Starting as Soon as Possible and Consistently Saving:

 

The sooner you start the more time your account will have to grow. This is because you have compounded interest working on your side!

Compounded interest is the interest calculated on the initial principal and includes all of the accumulated interest of the previous periods.

The maximum amount that you can contribute to a Roth IRA account per year is $5,500, which is $458 per month.

Experts say that over any 40 year period, the stock market has an average return of 7%. This includes down years. 

If you start with $5,500 and contribute $5,500 each year for 40 years (with a 7% average market increase), your total contribution will be $220,000.

That $220,000 over 40 years will grow to 1,257,212!!!

And Bang! You have over $1,000,000 for retirement!

 

bank rate Roth IRA

You can play with the numbers on any retirement account calculator (I used Bankrate.com, which is where I sourced the image above).

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Over View:

 

There are many ways to go about finding $29 a day to accomplish this goal.

You can download a FREE Checklist (which will be sent to your email) on How to Fund Your Retirement Account by Going Green (below this article).

Just remember, every dollar has an opportunity cost.

Curious, throughout high school did you learn about how to navigate your personal finances? Or about the importance of living a sustainable lifestyle?

Did they teach you about FICO scores and how much to have in revolving debt? Or what goes into calculating your credit score?

 

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Gardening Tips and Tricks to Prevent Global Warming

Gardening Tips and Tricks to Prevent Global Warming

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.

 

Gardening Tips and Tricks to prevent global warming

 

Benefits of Planting Your Own Organic Garden:

 

Here is a list of benefits that gardening can bring to your life:

  1. Reduces the amount that you spend at the grocery store each week. Consequently, the money you save can be used to fund your Roth IRA (Roth IRA: How to Become a Millionaire by the Time You Retire!)
  2. Reduces the transportation fuel (carbon output) used to ship vegetables across oceans and highways to get to your local store.
  3. 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! 
  4. Organic food tastes better because it is fresher and is able to ripen on the vine (instead of a gas chamber).
  5. It is an outdoor activity. Certainly, you can replace one of your indoor electricity using (TV, video games, social media time) hobbies with gardening. Keep in mind, Fossil fuels and coal make up nearly 62% of how we generate electricity in the U.S
  6. 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.
  7. 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!!!
  8. 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:

 

  1. Eliminates the addition of chemical pesticides that you are currently putting into your body.
  2. No chemical fertilizers. In short, worm casting is nature’s Miracle Grow and is an all natural organic fertilizer! Read on to learn about worm casting.
  3. It helps you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
  4. Adds a bit of exercise to your life.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 🙂

 

 

 

The Survival Garden Seed Kit by Open Seed Vault:

 

 

Inside the Survival Garden Seed Pack are carefully selected vegetables to provide a well balanced and healthy diet.

This seed pack comes with 32 varieties of all-natural vegetable seeds that are non-hybrid, non-GMO, 100% naturally grown, and open pollinated. Plus, a 14-page growing and seed saving guide.

 

Each pack contains the following 32 seed packets:  Seeds

  1. Kale Vates Blue Scotch
  2. Eggplant Black Beauty
  3. Green Bean Tendergreen Improved
  4. Zucchini Dark Green
  5.  Lettuce Buttercrunch Butterhead
  6. Brussels Sprouts Long Island
  7. Lettuce Ruby Leaf
  8. Lettuce Black Seeded Simpson
  9. Bell Pepper California Wonder
  10.  Radish Cherry Belle
  11. Okra Clemson Spineless
  12. Beet Detroit Dark Red
  13. Onion Evergreen Bunching
  14. Cabbage Golden Acre
  15. Corn Golden Bantam
  16. Cantaloupe Hales Best Jumbo
  17. Winter Squash Jumbo Pink Banana
  18. Tomato Beef Steak
  19. Lima Henderson
  20. Swiss Chard Giant Fordhook
  21. Cucumber Marketmore
  22. Spinach Bloomsdale
  23. Carrot Scarlet Nantes
  24. Turnip Purple Top
  25. Pumpkin Sugar Pie
  26. Cauliflower Snowball
  27. Pea Sugar Daddy
  28. Broccoli Waltham
  29. Winter Squash Waltham Butternut
  30. Sunflower Mammoth
  31. Parsnips Harris Model
  32. Celery Tall Utah Improved

 

The packets are USA Seed Stored in an airtight and moisture proof resealable bag for safer, long-term storage. Plus, the seeds have been tested for maximum germination and vegetable yield.

The Survival Garden Seed Pack is the perfect seed starter kit to bringing fresh vegetables to your kitchen table!

 

 

 

Epica’s Stainless Steel Compost Bin:

 

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:

  1. Helps plants grow faster.
  2. Increases soil aeration, which helps plants absorb nutrients and allows their roots to breath properly.
  3. Increases water retention, which makes it possible to use 50-75% less water in some situations. Money Saved! 
  4. Is all-natural! The consumption of fewer chemicals is vital to a healthier lifestyle. Worm casting allows you to grow “organic” vegetables!
  5. 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! 
  6. Burn-proof. Often times fertilizers are too high in nitrogen, which burns your plants. Casting will never burn the roots of your plants 🙂
  7. It is a natural pesticide! Save money on pesticides while avoiding the need to spray chemicals.
  8. Increases your crop yield :). In 2014, Nature Research published a study that showed that crops grown in worm castings produce 25% more yield.

 

 

Worm Casting Kit:

 

 

The nice thing about producing your own casting is that you will continuously produce natural fertilizer for your garden every month.

Producing your own casting will save you money over time, as opposed to purchasing casting from the store (which is typically packaged in a plastic bag).  

I have included a video to shows how the worm factory produces approximately 6 quarts of worm casting per month.

What’s more, the cost of worm casting bought from a store can be as much as $25 for 8 quarts.

In sum, if you are serious about wanting to grow organic vegetables, making the investment in a worm casting kit is totally worth it!

Moreover, you get to collect worm casting tea (to be clear, this is not the kind of tea you drink) that your plants love!! You should mix the tea with water and water your plants for an extra boost. worm casting

The Worm Factory comes with a bonus “What Can Red Wigglers Eat?” infographic refrigerator magnet.

This allows you to quickly determine which foods are perfect for your worms, and which you should avoid. 

Plus, the Worm Factory is odor free and included a 38-page instruction manual that is a step-by-step guide to managing your Worm Factory.

This worm casting kit has a built-in “worm tea” collector tray and spigot for easy draining.

I have included this instructional video to help you set up your worm casting kit by Growyourgreens.com.

 

 

 

Red Worms:

 

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!Red worms

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.

 

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I encourage interaction, so please feel free to comment below!

 

Renewable Energy Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates

Renewable Energy Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates

Navigating the federal, state, and local government renewable energy tax breaks (credits, deductions, and incentive) can be quite confusing. Not to mention, the added utility company’s rebates and programs. As a result, I decided to put together a roadmap, to help you navigate this rather complicated process. 

 

Renewable energy Tax breaks

 

 

If global warming, climate change, and resource depletion are important to you, then pre-enroll for a free mini-course to learn about money-saving sustainability swaps and actions that you can take to save the world!

 

 

The Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credit:

 

You better act quickly if you are interested in taking advantage of the biggest renewable energy tax credit. At the end of next year (2019), it will slowly start decreasing and until 2022. 

In other words, Congress could decide to extend the Renewable Energy tax credit… But, there is no guarantee that they will.

The federal renewable energy tax credit allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar or wind turbine system from your federal taxes.

The average price of a home solar system in the United States is around $15,800 for a 5kW system. A 30% tax credit on that amount saves homeowners just over $4,720.

As you can see, in the photo below provided by Energysage.com, the tax credit will slowly start decreasing over time and eventually disappear. However, the exception is that there will be a permanent 10% tax credit for commercial use of renewable energy systems. 

 

Federal solar tax credit

 

As of the date of this writing, you only have around 1 year to get your butt in gear If you want to take advantage of these serious savings.

Meanwhile, if a $15,000 solar system installation sounds like its way over your budget… You aren’t alone.

This is why I wrote an article about how you can DIY (Do It Yourself) solar panels.

The DIY solar panel system is a step-by-step video instruction guide that will teach you how to build your own solar energy system for around 25% of the cost that you would have paid a professional installer. 

In other words, that’s nearly a 75% savings! 

Surprisingly, you can actually build a solar energy system in your spare time for a very reasonable price. This guide will help you build each solar panel in approximately 1 hour and for around $100!

 

 

State Tax Credits:

 

Most states and some city governments have tax breaks (incentives, deductions, or credits) that can be used in addition to the federal tax credit for renewable energy or energy efficiency updates to your home!

First, take a look at the U.S. Department of Energy’s website called DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy).

It is a super handy tool for understanding federal, state, and local tax incentives. The site also includes utility company incentives for each state.

Just visit the web page and click the state that you live in 🙂

 

There are two solutions to the current energy dilemma:

  1. Energy efficiencyuse less energy by insulating your home, and installing WaterSense and Energy Star rated appliances or conversion kits.
  2. Renewable energy install solar panels, wind turbines, etc.

 

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State programs are very specific and vary widely, so make sure to research your state’s energy tax policy. Of course, a simple online search should produce very helpful results.

 

State tax breaks can be broken down into three main categories:

 

  1. Sales tax exemptions (many states exempt purchases of energy-efficient products or renewable energy equipment)
  2. Income tax credits or deductions (available in 22 states)
  3. Property tax rebates or exemptions (available 32 states)
Similarly, this list is broken down by state and is very easy to navigate.

 

 

 

Appliance Rebates:

 

 

EnergyStar has a rebate finder that is super easy to use! Simply, type in your zip code and it will give you a list of the current rebates that your utility companies are offering!

Santa Monica, California is offering 10 mail in rebates. I couldn’t get a screenshot off all 10, but here is an example of what three of them look like:

 

 

rebate offers

 

 

 

Utility Company Rebates:

 

 

Check with your utility company to see whether they have any of the following programs:

 

1. LED lightbulb replacements

According to EnergyStar.gov, the average home has approximately 40 lightbulbs.

You can save $128 per 100-watt light bulb equivalent over the life of the LED light by making the switch.

That’s 40 lights x $128= $5,120 saved! 

If you are ready to save money by making the switch, you can find 100-watt equivalent lightbulbs at the Sustainability Shop.

 

Energy star rated light bulbs

 

In short, I would highly recommend switching to LEDs over CFL lights. Unfortunately, CFL lights are made with mercury, which can become hazardous to the environment if they are not disposed of properly. 

 

 

AmazonBasics LED (100-watt incandescent light bulb replacement)

 

 

2. Programmable thermostats

Some utility companies offer rebates or incentives if you install a programmable thermostat.

Most importantly, a programmable thermostat helps you have more control over the temperature in your home and save you money by doing so. You can read about the 8 Benefits of Programmable Thermostats here. 

 

3. Recycle old appliances

There are some utility companies that will pick up your old appliances and then give you a rebate on purchasing a new EnergyStar rated one! Double dip savings! 

Moreover, often times when you purchase a new appliance from a store they will charge you to remove your old appliance.

Calling your utility company before shopping for a new appliance can help you by:

First, save money by getting advice on which appliances are the most energy efficient.

Second, they may remove your old appliance and recycle it for free.

Third, they may offer rebates for approved EnergyStar and WaterSense appliances and fixtures.

 

4.  Upgrading to EnergyStar rated appliances

Use the EnergyStar rebate finder to see what kinds of incentive programs your utility company offers for washers, dryers, dishwashers, tankless water heaters, etc.

5. Tune up your furnace

Your utility company may offer a forced air furnace diagnostic tune-up rebate.

6. Winterization and insulation upgrades

Ask your utility company what kinds of rebates they offer for upgrading your home to become more energy efficient. The Sustainability Shop has DIY window and electrical outlet insulation kits.

 

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In sum, by implementing these energy efficiency and renewable technology suggestions you can attain large savings. Moreover, it would seem that you can obtain savings from many different avenues.

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

Start by changing simple habits and using products that are sustainable/reusable.

Moreover, make sure to talk to your family, friends, and community about sustainability. Knowledge helps people become aware of their actions which will help everyone make a larger impact together.

We got into this resource depletion and global warming issue together, which means that the only way out is to solve the issue as a community 🙂

Recently, scientists have released a warning that the world has less than 15 years to reduce the carbon output to nearly 0 or else face serious climate change consequences.

Insulation can increase your energy efficiency, and save you tons of money on your next utility bill. You can find several insulation solutions on Eco Economic’s Sustainability Shop page.

The shop includes energy efficiency and water conservation conversion kits, solar products, zero-waste, and minimally packaged home goods.

Becoming a Sustainability Hero has health, environment, and budget benefits.

Interested in learning more about how to create wealth with the money you save by going green? Pre-enroll for a Free mini-course on Tax Tips, Business Tricks, and Real Estate Knowledge!

 

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By sharing we can help others become Sustainability Heros too! Remember, it is our own lives and futures at stake.

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Renewable Energy Tax Credit: How to Install DIY Solar Panels

Renewable Energy Tax Credit: How to Install DIY Solar Panels

If you are interested in taking advantage of the biggest federal renewable energy tax credit, you will need to take action by 2019. The federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC), allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes.

 

Renewable Energy Tax Credits (1)

 

As you can see in the photo below provided by Energysage.com, the tax credit will slowly start decreasing over time.

As of the date of this writing, you only have around 1 year to get your butt in gear!

 

Federal solar tax credit

 

The federal solar tax credit applies to both residential and commercial systems. What’s more is that there is no cap on its value!

 

The cost to install solar panels can vary greatly, based on the state and solar installation company you use.

A professionally installed solar energy system can cost upward of $20k, but there are two ways to minimize this cost.

Don’t want to spend $20k on a solar energy system? That’s ok. Read on 🙂

 

 

Lease vs. Build it Yourself

 

 

1. You can opt for a solar lease agreement– A company like Solar City will install solar panels for free. Then you purchase the power from the solar power company at a lower rate than you are currently paying your utility company. 

This means that you still have to purchase electricity from a company. Instead of purchasing your energy from your utility company (that probably gets its electricity from coal and other fossil fuels), you will be getting electricity from a renewable source (the sun).

2. DIY solar panel systems-You can purchase a step-by-step video instruction guide, along with the materials, and build your own solar energy system for around 25% of the cost that you would have paid a professional installer.

One of the main differences here is that you will own your solar panels, and any energy produced after your breakeven point is “free electricity”. 

 

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Benefits of the DIY Solar Panel System Guide:

 

 

Surprisingly, you can actually build a solar energy system in your spare time for a very reasonable price.

This may sound impossible since you probably don’t have an engineering background. Fortunately, the DYI Home Energy System Guide breaks down every step along the way so that there is no confusion.

Shockingly, professional installation companies can charge over $20k to install a solar energy system. 

Jeff, the creator of DYI Home Energy System Guide, helps you build each solar panel for around $100.

In the video guide, Jeff walks you through how to assemble a solar energy system. He films each step of the installation process and explains in it detail. 

 

 

 

Deciding Whether a DIY Solar Energy System is the Best Solution for You: 

 

 

If you have an hour here and there to build your own renewable energy system, this guide is the perfect tool to help you achieve big-time savings and energy independence.

Jeff estimates that it takes around 1 hour to build each solar panel. Additionally, all you need are simple hand tools that you probably already own (like a screwdriver). 

Moreover, the DYI Home Energy System Guide tells you which professional grade parts you will need to order.

To be honest, the sales video is a little cheesy. That being said, Jeff’s story really tells you why he spent so much time on his quest to build the best solar energy system for his family.

He explains how the electricity grid, in many parts of the country, is over 100 years old. The age of the electricity infrastructure is the main cause the many rolling blackouts in his area.

Moreover, Jeff wanted to achieve energy independence so that he was no longer subject to the utility company’s rate increases. 

 

Try, then Decide:

 

As of the time of this writing over 42,000 people have bought the DYI Home Energy System Guide.

If that doesn’t settle your mind from worry, know that the DYI Home Energy System Guide comes with a 60-day money back guarantee.

You can always watch the video and return it if you think that you won’t be able to complete the project. This way you can see what you are getting into before making for a final decision (worry-free).

 

 

Jeff really emphasizes that you will be purchasing professional grade building materials to construct your solar power system.

He explains that the reason why there is such a large cost difference between having a professional installer build your unit and building it on your own is that you are paying for the labor, know-how, and additional mark up.

Companies need to generate a profit, and as you probably know the standard mark up for retailers (from a wholesale distributor to a retail store) is 50% of the cost of the product. 

 

 

 

DIY Solar Energy System Vs. A Solar Lease:

 

 

As you know, I am a huge advocate of renewable energy. Up till this article, I always thought that the cost to install a solar energy system was way too expensive to make financial sense.

Typically, a standard solar energy system lasts around 25 years, and the average payback period is 15-20 years.

So purchasing your own system doesn’t really make sense, unless you plan on living in your home for 25 years. Most people end up moving within that time and won’t have the opportunity to recover that investment cost.

This is why I had opted to go with the solar lease option (for my home in Las Vegas).

Now that I have found this solution, I really do believe that I could have bribed a few friends with a home cooked meal to help me build a solar energy system for cheaper than the cost of purchasing electricity through my solar lease. 

Because the DYI Home Energy System is so much cheaper to build, you will hit the breakeven point on the cost of the unit much quicker.

 

 

 

Some of the Benefits of a DIY Solar Project:

 

1. Energy independence. Who cares if the utility companies decide to raise electricity costs? Not you!

What’s more is that you can sell your excess electricity to the utility company.

Earn a bit of cash from selling any energy that you aren’t using and fund your retirement account! Read (Roth IRA: How to Become a Millionaire by the Time You Retire!)

2. Low to no maintenance. Once you build your renewable energy solar system, there is little to no maintenance required.

Build a solar energy system for a fraction of the cost you would have otherwise had to pay a professional installer.

 

 

 

A Few Minor Drawbacks:

 

 

1.City Inspector:

 

Just like with any major remodel, you will need to have your solar energy system inspected by an official city inspector.

The inspector will probably have you fix a thing or two, which will require him to come back and re-inspect another day… Don’t take it personally, stay strong, and make any required corrections to pass that inspection. Just think of this step as part of the process.

If you include this step in your mental accounting process, you won’t think of it as a pain in the butt. Instead, think of it as just part of what needs to happen to make sure you have a safe solar energy system.

You really do want a city inspector to come by to make sure that you installed your system correctly... After all, you are playing with electricity.

The only negative review I have seen thus far is by Solarreviews.com. Upon further research, I found that the website is owned by a solar installation company. Of course, It is in their best interest to have you pay them to install solar panels for you.

 

2. Time:

 

Every DIY project is going to some take time and require a little perseverance. The instructional videos are very thorough, and you will have to set aside time to watch them. Of course, building a solar energy system yourself will also take time.

If you can find 2-3 weekends to devote to building your own energy system, you can save a ton of money with the DYI Home Energy System guide.

Remember, by building your own solar unit you are able to save money because you are the labor (instead of paying someone else to put in the labor).

 

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

 

Renewable energy is the way of the future. As a society, we need to make the switch away from fossil fuels.

Take the pledge to become a Sustainability Hero.  Living in harmony with the planet has health, environment, and budget benefits.

Remember to visit the sustainability shop, which includes energy efficiency and water conservation conversion kits, solar products, zero-waste, and minimally packaged home goods.

If global warming, resource depletion, and climate change are important to you, then pre-enroll for the free Sustainability mini-course. 

This course is designed to teach you about many money-saving green swaps and actions that you can take to save the world!

 

Articles that may interest you:

 

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to spread the word by sharing. That way we can help others become Sustainability Heros too!

The Ultimate Guide to Preventing Global Warming

The Ultimate Guide to Preventing Global Warming

It seems like the topic of climate change and resource depletion is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, but no one really knows what to do about it. I have compiled the UN’s most important blueprint actions for achieving a happier and healthier world while adding a few of my own tips to create the Ultimate Guide to Prevent Global Warming.

 

Steps You Can Take To Prevent Global Warming

 

By implementing these simple actions we can manifest a change for a better future. The UN has created a campaign called the “Be the Change Initiative” that provides an opportunity for all of us to better “walk the talk”.

I have created a Sustainability Shop” and have done the work of reading the labels and reviews to offer you the best sustainable products on the market.

This collection of sustainable living products have been amassed in one place for your convenience. The shop includes energy efficiency and water conservation conversion kits, solar products, zero-waste, and minimally packaged home goods. 

I want to encourage you to reuse your current belongings until they are either broken or no longer useful (and you need to replace them).

The exception to this is if what you are currently using produces lots of one-time use waste or is harmful to your health. 

Of course, if you are using something that is not good for your health (like cooking with Teflon that was manufactured prior to 2013), then purchasing a replacement makes sense.

Take the Sustainability Pledge today and incorporate as many biodegradable, reusable, and alternative energy products into your daily routine as possible.

To have the greatest impact we must change our daily habits and consumption patterns at work and at home.

Many of the recommendations in this guild have budget saving benefits, is healthier for your body, and greatly reduces your carbon output 🙂

 

 

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5 Steps That You Can Take To Prevent Global Warming

 

 

Step 1: At Home

 

 

Fossil fuels and coal make up nearly 62%  of how we generate electricity in the U.S.

By increasing your home’s energy efficiency you can save the environment, money on your next electricity bill, and breath cleaner air.

Start by plugging the air leaks in the windows and doors. Adjust your thermostat (lower in the winter and higher in the summer). Replace old appliances and light bulbs with energy efficient models.

Visit the Sustainability Shop to check out Energy Star rated LED light bulbs, electrical outlet sealers, window insulators, and other energy-saving insulation tools.

Download a full list of energy efficiency tips here with the Free Home Energy Audit Guide.

If you use a dishwasher, stop rinsing your plates before you run the machine. Yes, you should still scrape all of the food off before putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Dishwashers today use high heat to take off any food residue left on dishes.

Install solar panels on the roof of your home. You can lease solar panels (learn more by reading “How to Install Free Solar Panels on your Home”)  from a company like Solar City. It’s cheaper to get electricity through a solar lease than it is to purchase electricity directly from the utility company 🙂

Reuse your holiday decorations. Unfortunately, the holidays are the most wasteful time of the year. Just think of all the one-time-use cups, plates, utensils, decorations, gift wrapping, etc. Look for ways to plan eco-friendly parties and events. 

I love the holidays and the idea of spending time with friends and family just as much as you do. Let’s be responsible about how we plan our events so that Mother Nature can have a happy holiday too!

 

Tile Floors in High Traffic Areas:

 

This flooring option has many benefits.

First, tile floors basically last forever (unless you drop a sledgehammer on it and crack the tile itself).

Second (real estate investment tip), due to its durability tile is great for rental properties.

Third, you won’t need to keep replacing the flooring like you would with carpet. This will save you money in the long run and reduces the amount of trash going to our landfills.

Fourth, tile is great for easy cleanup. Liquids can be easily mopped up and won’t stain the floor.

Fifth, tile keeps your home cool in the summer. Add rugs in the winter for a cozy warmer feel. Carpets in the bedroom and rugs in the living areas keep your home warm, your thermostat low, and will save you a chunk of change.

 

 

 

Step 2: Your Daily Routine

 

 

Request that vendors stop sending paper statements. Pay your bills online or via mobile. Remember, every sheet of paper leads to more forest destruction.

Use cardboard matches. Unlike plastic gas-filled lighters, they don’t require any petroleum.

Recycling paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum keeps landfills from growing.

Buy minimally packaged goodsgoods that are packaged in eco-friendly materials, and packaging and products made from recycled materials.

Many of the products found in the Sustainability Shop are packaged in cardboard, recycled paper, or do not have packaging at all.

Bike, walk or take public transportation. Save the car trips for when you can carpool or need to go long distances.

Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup. Cut down on waste and maybe even save money at the coffee shop. Read how you can save $1,200 per year by not purchasing that $5 cup of coffee before work. 

Bring your own bag when you shop. Some stores even give you a $0.06 savings for bringing your own shopping bags.

Take fewer napkins, and just use what you need.

Shop vintage and see what you can repurpose from second-hand stores.

Donate what you don’t use to local charities to give your beloved belonging a new life with someone who will appreciate them.

 

 

 

Step 3: Water Conservation

 

 

Take short showers. Bathtubs require gallons more water than a 5-10 minute shower. Use a WaterSense rated shower head and faucets. WaterSense conversion kits can be found in the Sustainability Shop and can save up to 12,000 gallons of water per year.

Moreover, the conversion kits pay for themselves and take 2 minutes to install. Its small actions like these that make the biggest differences.

Let your hair and clothes dry naturally instead of running a machine.

If you do wash your clothes, make sure the load is full.

When you finish drinking a cup of cold water/juice, water a plant with your leftover ice cubes. 🙂

Here are a few surprising facts about water by The Infographics Show that I bet you didn’t know.

 

 

 

Did you know that a leaky faucet can waste up to 11,000 liters of water per year?

Fixing leaky faucets can save water, energy to filter/transport the water to your home, chemicals to remediate the water after it has been used, and reduce your utility bill 🙂

Lastly, remember to turn off the tap water while brushing your teeth.

 

 

 

Step 4: The Kitchen

 

 

Shopping for food locally supports neighborhood businesses and keeps people employed. Moreover, it helps prevent trucks from driving far distances to transport food.

Food that is sourced locally tastes better because it is fresher and was able to ripen on the vine (instead of a gas chamber).

Shop Smart, plan meals, and use shopping lists to avoid impulse buys.

 

spinner

Remember these? What exactly are they for? How many of these will end up in a landfill 3 years from now?

 

Don’t succumb to marketing tricks that lead you to buy more food than you need.  Although you may save money by purchasing perishable items in bulk, it does you no good if you end up not eating them because they have over ripened or grown mold.

Buy Funny Fruit 🙂 Many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or color are not “right”. Buying these perfectly good funny fruit, at the farmer’s market or elsewhere, utilizes food that might otherwise go to waste.

Remember, it takes water, transportation, fertilizer, and labor to grow these funny fruits. They need love too!

Read about how you can use meal prepping to fund your retirement account here.

You can find bento lunchboxes, reusable glass containers, biodegradable lunch bags, and reusable silicon bags for food storage in the Sustainability Shop.

Don’t forget to freeze fresh produce and leftovers, if you don’t have the chance to eat them before they go bad.

Eat less meat, poultry, and fish. More resources are used to produce meat than plants. You can learn more about the Reducetarian Diet and how the meat industry produces more carbon than the transportation industry in the library section of the Sustainability Shop.

 

 

Step 5: Grow Your Own Food and Compost

 

Composting food scraps can reduce waste that would otherwise need to be transported to a landfill.

Another benefit is that composting recycles nutrients, which can be used to start your own organic vegetable garden.

Nutrients from a compost pile is healthier for you and cheaper than purchasing chemical fertilizers.

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview: 

 

Save money today by becoming a Sustainability Hero.

Remember, it is our own lives and futures at stake.

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.

This means that we need to drastically cut back on our carbon output and even start carbon sequestering campaigns to meet this goal.

Take action today, and remember to visit the sustainability shop to start using zero-waste, plastic alternative, and biodegradable products today.

Reduce your single-use waste output and take the Sustainability Pledge.

Becoming a Sustainability Hero has health, environment, and budget benefits🙂

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!

Start by changing simple habits and using products that are sustainable/reusable.

 

Related Resources:

 

Make global warming a hot topic and talk about these issues to your family, friends, and community. Letting them know about these simple actions can help us all make a larger impact.

The more you spread the word, the more a topic “catches fire” and more people become aware of the issue.

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to spread the word by sharing so that we can help others join us in our efforts to prevent global warming too!

Interested in a particular topic or want to give your two cents? Comment below!

 

5 Ways to Save Money by Going Green

5 Ways to Save Money by Going Green

Today I am going to talk about how you can save money by going green! There are so many reasons why going green is so important. Earlier this month, NASA published an article stating that 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree that “climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities”.

5 ways to save money by going green

 

We are past the stage of denial and must take a stance to change our current course of carbon output. Climate change, global warming, and resource depletion is a serious challenge that is going to take effort on the part of every person on this planet.

In fact, the world has just over a decade to get climate change under control.

In 2016, the Paris Agreement was signed by the majority of the world’s leaders and put into effect. Unfortunately, in August of 2017, the Trump Administration withdrew the United States from the agreement.

A recent UN report found the world’s annual carbon dioxide emission would have to be on a steep decline by 2030 to hold the world below a 1.5° Celsius increase.

Shockingly, the current carbon emission output amounts to more than 40 billion tons per year, and that amount is increasing not decreasing.

What is the difference between 1.5° and 2° Celsius?

Globalnews.ca provides a quick overview of what the .5° means for us and the planet.

 

 

 

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The Little Things: Eco-friendly Alternatives

 

Are you interested in reducing your environmental footprint, but don’t know where to start?

Eco Economics is committed to providing the knowledge and products to help you get on your path to becoming a Sustainability Hero.

Going green is imperative to you and your family’s health and survival. Making changes to your daily habits may be challenging at first, but don’t worry soon they will become a part of your routine.

Below I have listed 5 ways for you to go green and save money by doing so!

 

 

Rechargeable Batteries:

 

Americans purchase approximately 3 billion batteries a year.

Around two-thirds of these batteries wind up in the trash. Unfortunately, cadmium, nickel, and lead can leach from the landfills and end up contaminating our groundwater resources.

Amazon Rechargeable battery chargerAccording to Battery University, battery-powered energy costs between $68 to more than $400 per kilowatt-hour.

In contrast, depending on where you live, electricity costs between 7 to 19 cents per kilowatt-hour (according to the Energy Information Administration).

Meaning that batteries are extremely inefficient and costly for their energy output.

Batteries are an easy to replace single-use item. Just imagine all of the packaging, transportation, and resource waste we can prevent by using rechargeable batteries.

A popular blog called the Simple Dollar shows how you can save $77.44 annually by switching over to rechargeable batteries.AAA Rechargeable Batteries (12-Pack)

The blog mentions that there is a start-up cost for purchasing the rechargeable batteries and the wall charger.

The big picture overview is that the savings over the life of the batteries more than make up the cost of throwing away one-time use batteries.

Not to mention the overall benefit to the environment, your health, and the additional trips saved to the store!

AA Rechargeable Batteries (8-Pack)Rechargeable batteries are like LED light bulbs. They cost a lot more upfront than their conventional counterparts, but their extended lifespan makes them far more cost efficient in the long run.

This charger is able to recharge both AAA and AA batteries. Click here to view the charger details and here to purchase additional AA and AAA batteries.

 

 

 

 

Paperless Napkins:

 

Did you know that 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used EVERY year in the U.S.?

If each U.S. household uses one less 70-sheet roll, 554,000 trees could be saved annually!Paperless towel

**Click here to read why microfibers are so awful for the environment (hint:1,900+ tiny plastic fibers are released per wash cycle into our water resources which we eventually eat).

These paperless kitchen napkins are handmade from natural unbleached cotton birdseye fabric.

They come in a set of 10 and can be thrown in the laundry for easy cleaning.

Dimensions: 11×12 inches (28×30.5 cm)

Say on average you purchase one pack of paper towels (8 rolls) each month for $8, these paperless napkins pay for themselves after 2.5 months! 

That means that you save $76 for the rest of the year in which you purchase the paperless towels. The next year and each year after that, you will save $8 x 12months = $96 per year! 

Moreover, these paperless napkins are unbleached. Just imagine how much bleach is put into our environment to produce white paper towels.

Click here to start saving money and quit using single-use paper towels.

 

 

Reusable Silicone Bags: 

 

Another shocking statistic that will blow your mind is the fact that Ziploc® bags and their off-brand counterparts have become so prevalent that the average United States family uses 500 Ziploc bags each year!

The United States has an estimated population of 326 million people. With an average family size of 2.8 people (U.S. Census Data), that means that the United States alone uses an average of 58 million Ziploc® bags per year!

Single-use plastic is the worst 🙁

If each family uses 500 Ziploc® bags per year (1-quart bags come in a box of 50 and each box costs $5), then an average family spends $50 in Ziploc® bags per year.

Save money by switching over to these re-sealable silicone bags today.

What’s more is that for the same $50 you are spending a year on Ziploc® bags, you can purchase 2.5 sets of these silicon bags.

The silicone bags are heavy duty and will last you for many years to come, so this plastic-free swap will keep saving you money year after year!

Moreover, they are non-allergenic, non-reactive, and hygienic. They do not contain BPA, PVC, petroleum, estrogen-mimicking compounds, and are latex-free.

These bags can basically handle it all!!!

They can be safely used in the microwave, refrigerator, toaster, freezer, and dishwasher!

The silicon bags can handle a temperature range from -58℉  to 482℉ and can hold 30 fl oz (4 cups or 1 quart) of food or liquid.

They are airtight and come with a lifetime warranty!!

 

 

 

EcoFriendly Coffee Maker:

 

To truly embrace a sustainable lifestyle you need to quit as many single-use products as possible. 

This Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker comes with a stainless steel mesh filter that helps extract your coffee’s aromatic oils and subtle flavors. Typically, paper filters absorb these flavors and essential oils.

The coffee carafe is made of durable, heat-resistant borosilicate glass with a cork band that is both functional and elegant.

It comes in various sizes: 17oz, 34oz, 51oz, and 68 oz.

To get a hold of your dishwasher-safe coffee maker today click here.  

 

 

 

LED Light Bulbs:

 

Sustainable LED lights

Did you know that space heating is the largest consumer of electricity in the U.S. (41%), followed by appliances, electronics, and lighting (35%)?

If you are interested in saving money on your next electricity bill, be sure to download my FREE Home Energy Audit Guide!

 

Save Thousands by Going Green!

A FREE Checklist on How to Fund Your Retirement Account by Going Green.

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Remember, fossil fuels and coal make up nearly 62%  of how we generate electricity in the U.S.

Save up to 86% on your electric bill that is devoted to lighting with Sunco LED light bulbs.

They have a whopping 35,000-hour lifespan and you can use them both in and outdoors.

The Sunco LED light bulbs are Energy Star rated, which means that they meet strict efficiency, quality and product lifetime criteria.

Moreover, the manufacturer offers a 3-year warranty!

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

Save money today by becoming a Sustainability Hero. Click here to visit the Sustainability Shop today.

Reduce your single-use waste output and pledge to go plastic free!

Becoming a Sustainability Hero has health, environment, and budget benefits🙂

Sustainability is an important topic that we need to address.

If global warming, climate change, and resource depletion are important to you then take the pledge to become a conscious consumer today!

Start by changing simple habits and using products that are sustainable/reusable.

 

Related Resources:

 

 

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to spread the word by sharing so that we can help others become Sustainability Heros too!

Interested in a particular topic? Comment below!

 

Sustainable Living: Zero Waste Menstruation

Sustainable Living: Zero Waste Menstruation

How much does your period cost over a lifetime? Today’s sustainable living tip is going to cover how you can save $1,773 and the environment from 9,120 tampons over your lifetime.

Sustainable living Period Hack

According to a Huffington Post article:

“On average, a woman has her period from three to seven days and the average woman menstruates from age 13 until age 51. That means the average woman endures some 456 total periods over 38 years, or roughly 2,280 days (6.25 years of her life).”

The average life expectancy for a woman is 81 years. This means that she will spend approximately 7.7% of her life menstruating.

Women are instructed to change their tampon every 4 to 8 hours. For easy math sake, we’ll use 6 hours as an average, and assume that a box contains 36 tampons (costing approximately $7).

1 tampon every 6 hours = 4 tampons per day x 5 days of a period = 20 tampons per cycle x 456 periods = 9,120 tampons over a lifetime.

At 36 tampons per box, that’s 253.3 boxes x $7 = $1,773.33!

The Pink Tax: In 2015, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs published a study comparing nearly 800 products from more than 90 brands. The study found that on average, products for women or girls cost 7% more than comparable products for men and boys.

Paying for Tampons is part of this Pink Tax. It’s pretty expensive to be a female in the 21’s century, but it doesn’t have to be!

I will address the Pink Tax in further detail later on in this article.

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The Negative Impact of Tampons on your Health: 

Unfortunately, most tampons and pads contain surfactants (a compound that reduces surface tension in liquids), adhesives (glue to hold the tampon together), and other chemical additives.

Moreover, most pads contain polyethylene plastic whose production releases harmful pollutants.

What’s more, is that over 90% of cotton produced in the United States has been genetically modified to be resistant to Round-up (the active ingredient being glyphosate).

Round-up is a powerful herbicide that kills weeds, but the biggest issue is that glyphosate is a known cancer-causing agent.

According to goop.com, the main concern is that,

“Chronic exposure [to toxins] increases our risk of cancer, causes oxidative stress, metabolic changes, and disrupts our endocrine system. This can contribute to adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immunological effects.”

In recent decades, infertility, endometriosis, and thyroid disorder rates have been on the rise. One explanation is the constant exposure to chemicals and toxins in our environment.

Furthermore, traces of dioxin (a known carcinogen), and a synthetic fiber called rayon are also found in tampons.

Dioxin: A Carcinogen and Cancer-causing Chemical

The vagina is a highly permeable space, meaning that toxins can be absorbed through the mucous membrane and enter into our bloodstream.

Dioxin is a by-product of the bleaching process and can leave a residue in the vaginal wall.

In another blog, I discuss the toxic nature of PVC plastic. One of the reasons why PVC is so toxic is that it releases dioxin during the production and recycling processes.

In fact, in 2008 the State of New Jersey banned the use of PVC in children’s toys. Their reasoning was due to its link to testicular cancer, liver problems, and the early onset of puberty in girls – which is a  risk factor for later-life breast cancer.

Synthetic Fibers: 

In my article titled, “5 Plastic-Free Swaps for a Sustainable Bathroom” I discuss how synthetic materials (like rayon) can release more than 1,900 microfibers per garment in each wash cycle. 

Even though we know that tampons clog up building pipes, some people still flush their tampons which are made of rayon. The longer synthetic materials are left in water, the more time they have to break apart.

Why are microfibers so harmful? Because tiny plastic pieces can bioaccumulate and biomagnify up the food chain which we ingest in the form of yummy seafood.

The Environmental Impact: Why is Zero Waste so Important?

While there are tampons that are sold without applicators, the majority of the tampons are the kind that comes in an applicator.

Just think, each of the 9,120 tampons comes in an applicator, a protective sleeve, and a box (with a set of instructions).

The worst part is that they are all one-time items 🙁

This is just the impact that you make. Now, let’s look at the situation from a macro scale.

According to the US census report, the population of America stands at approximately 326 million people. Of that, 51% of those people are female, so we can safely say that there are around 163 million women.

According to the site, approximately 50% of those women are between the ages of 13-51. Meaning that there are 81 million women of menstruation age.

US census report

If every woman of menstruating age uses an average of 20 tampons per cycle x 12 cycles per year… that’s 19,440,000,000 feminine products going to our landfills each year 🙁

I did a quick double check on my math, and the University of Utah confirms that approximately 20 billion tampons are used every year! 

Insane, right?

Although cotton does biodegrade, it can take between 1-5 months to do so. The more chemical additives that are blended with the cotton, the longer it takes to biodegrade.

Not to mention, that when it does degrade, the chemicals seep into our water and soil resources.

The main issue is that we are producing waste faster than Mother Nature can get rid of it.

The Solution: The Diva Cup

Sustainable Diva cup 1

Although you may not be able to afford to purchase an all-electric car, you can stop your contribution of sanitary pads/tampons that get thrown into our landfills each year.

Small changes can make a huge impact. Plus, making the switch will save you money, is good for the environment, and is the healthier option.

My Personal Experience with the Diva Cup: 

I have personally used the Diva Cup for over 2 years now and absolutely love it!

It did take me 2 cycles to get used to, but now its just part of my routine.

No, you can’t feel it when it’s in (it just like a tampon). The only thing I had to get used to was learning how to take it out.

I find it easiest to clean the Diva Cup in the shower, and I don’t need to take an entire shower to clean it out. Just squat in the tub.

**Remember, we are trying to save water because the world is running out of potable water.  Click here to learn how you can save 12,000+ gallons of water per year.

I can get away with cleaning my Diva Cup 3 times a day. Once in the morning, once around 5 pm, and before bed.

I hope I have made a strong enough case for you to seriously consider making the switch.

For women who have not had children, Model 1 is recommended.  If you have given birth, then Model 2 is recommended.

Details About the Diva Cup: 

The Diva Cup is made from 100% healthcare grade silicone. It is a reusable menstrual cup that collects (rather than absorbs) menstrual flow.

Just like with a tampon, you can be active with your Diva Cup. I am able to swim and lift weights at the gym.

The Diva Cup is manufactured in Canada and free of BPA, plastics, and dyes.

Of course, the manufacturer wants you to replace your Diva Cup once a year (most likely so that they can sell more of them). But according to Healthline.com, 100% health grade silicone can last 10-20 years.

I have had mine for 2+ years, and its still working without a hitch!

Be a part of the solution and stop contributing to the nearly 20 billion tampons/pads that end up in our landfills each year.

Click here to join the movement, and get your Diva Cup today!

The Pink Tax:

 

I am sure that many of you are aware of the gender inequality of pay gap. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has come out with a report that states that in the decade (between 2004 and 2014), women earned 80% to 83% as much as men.

But are you aware of what many are calling the “Pink Tax”?  According to listenmoneymatters.com,

“The pink tax refers to the extra amount women are charged for certain products or services. Things like dry cleaning, personal care products, and vehicle maintenance. So not only do women make less but they pay more. Women also live longer so they actually need more money for retirement.”

Paying for tampons is part of this Pink Tax!

As you can see from the graph below (provided by statista.com), the tampon/pad industry generates nearly $925 million per year.

 

Dollar sales of the leading tampon brands in the United States in 2016 (in million U.S. dollars)*

Tampon profits

No wonder every other commercial advertises a feminine hygiene product!

Make the switch today.

The 10,000 Foot Overview: 

Tampons were first invented in the 1930’s and have increased in popularity over time.

Please join me in preventing the contribution of 20 billion pads/tampons/applicators from being sent to our landfills annually!

I am not an alarmist, just someone who wants to shed light on the reality of the situation.

Be a part of the solution and not the problem. Help prevent global warming, climate change, and resource degradation today.

I sincerely hope to provide you with the best information possible, which is why I site as many government websites, medical journals, and credible sources as possible.

Fund your Roth IRA retirement account with your tampon savings!

If you have learned even one piece of information that you did not know before reading this article, please share or re-pin so that we can spearhead this paradigm shift toward a more sustainable future together🙂

5 Plastic-Free Swaps for a  Sustainable Bathroom

5 Plastic-Free Swaps for a Sustainable Bathroom

Did you know that there are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans? Moreover, this doesn’t take into account for the plastic that is released by synthetic fibers. In the wash, synthetic clothing can release more than 1,900 microfibers per garment in each wash cycle! Today, I am going introduce 5 Eco-friendly products for a sustainable bathroom.

 

Plastic free sustainable bathroom

 

Microfibers Polluting Our Water Resources: 

 

Synthetic microfibers like polyester and nylon are made from petroleum. During the use and washing of these materials, microfibers get washed down the drain and pollute our water resources.

Moreover, our water remediation facilities do not have the systems in place to strain out these microfibers.

Scientists are beginning to find tiny shreds of synthetic fabrics in our oceans and lakes all over the world. What’s more is that these scientists have traced the microfiber pollutants back to our washing machines.

The Scientific American published an article stating that,

“The Hudson River dumps 300 million clothing fibers into the Atlantic Ocean each day“.

This article was supported by research completed by the Marine Pollution Bulletin.

In another blog, I talk about how plastic pieces can bioaccumulate and biomagnify up the food chain. Meaning that you and I end up eating these tiny particles through salmon and other forms of seafood.

Click here to find out how you can save 12,000 gallons of water per year (for a household of 4). Our planet is running out of clean water, and water conservation is critical to our survival. 

Read on to learn about how to transition away from one-time use paper and microfiber kitchen towels.

 

Plastic is Taking Over Our Planet: 

 

According to an article written by Medium.com, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute.

What is more outrageous is fact that the article expects that by 2030 that number will increase to two garbage trucks per minute, and four per minute by 2050.

By 2050, scientists believe that there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. Moreover, the human population will reach a whopping 9.7 billion individuals.

When we purchase plastic products, it signals to the market that there is an increase in demand for plastic materials.

Manufacturers are thus incentivized to produce more of these products, which results in greater investment in plastic producing equipment. This process further entrenches our society into one that is plastic dependent.

Unfortunately, this plastic ends up in one of two places. Either in landfills or in our oceans and basically never breaks down :(.

 

How to Create a Sustainable Bathroom: 

 

There are so many ways to find eco-friendly and sustainable substitutes for the products that we use on a daily basis.

Making the switch may take a bit of research up front. But once you find an eco-friendly product that you like and know where to get it, purchasing will become automatic.

Similarly, you have probably memorized the layout of your favorite grocery store. You know exactly where to find the items that you need for the week, without having to think too much about it.

I have listed 5 sustainable bathroom substitutes that can make a huge difference in the impact you are making on the environment.

What you do today and the actions you take have an enormous effect on global warming, climate change, and resource depletion.

Did you know that nearly 99% of toothbrushes are made from plastic?

One of the simplest ways to contribute to fixing this problem is to swear-off of plastic toothbrushes and switch to a bamboo one.

 

Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrushes:

 

Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrushes have two benefits. Not only are you contributing to the reduction of 4.9 billion plastic toothbrushes used each year, but charcoal naturally whitens your teeth!

How does activated charcoal work? The charcoal’s pores bind with the rough parts on your teeth, which is where surface stains and plaque reside.

Once the charcoal has enough time to stick to your teeth, it can be removed. When you rinse your mouth out with water, the charcoal takes the plaque, food particles, and surface stains with it.

This vegan 4-pack of toothbrushes are made with 100% recycled natural bamboo material. This material is biodegradable, organic, and all natural!

Moreover, these toothbrushes cost about the same as the ones you are probably currently buying.

The American Dental Association recommends that you change your toothbrush every 3 months to avoid bacteria build up.

After all, you are going to have to replace your toothbrush at some point in the future, so why not order these today!

 Click here to update your bathroom with a sustainable Isshah toothbrush!

 

Shampoo Bar’s:

 

sustainable shampoo bar

J.R. Liggett’s Shampoo bar is made from an old-fashion vegetable oil formula. Each bar is 3.5 ounces and comes in a pack of 3.

This shampoo bar does not contain any detergents, so it will not strip the natural oils from your hair.

For this reason, most people do not need to pair this shampoo bar with a conditioner. Money saved! Just think about all of the money you have spent on conditioners, and how much you can save in the future.

Additionally, J.R. Liggett’s shampoo bars work well for people with allergies those with sensitive skin.

Why are shampoo bars more sustainable? Because they lack harmful plastic packaging.

Plastic bottles can take up to 400+ years to degrade, so purchasing products with the least amount of packaging is crucial to reducing the massive amounts of waste that go to landfills each day.

The wrappers on these shampoo bars are made from 100% recycled paper. What’s more is that the shampoo bars themselves are recyclable and 100% bio-degradable.

Moreover, J.R. Liggett does not test any of their products on animals, and their products are made in the USA.

Click here for more details on J.R. Liggett’s Shampoo Bars.

 

Seventh Generation Toilet Paper:

 

Sustainable Toilet PaperSo how did this company come up with its name “Seventh Generation”?

The idea came from one of the company’s core principles. When the company makes decisions, they consider the impact that they will have on the seventh generation to come.

What a fantastic way to think!

Seventh Generation focuses its marketing and product development on sustainability and the conservation of natural resources. 

The company uses recycled and post-consumer materials in its packaging, as well as, what is in its products. They focus on creating biodegradable and plant-based products.

In another blog, I talk about the importance of supporting companies that exhibit corporate social responsibility.

As consumers, we should reward companies that put its people and the planet first.

This toilet paper is made from 100% recycled paper. Moreover, there are no dyes, inks, or fragrances.

Amazon.com has a new feature where you can save money on products that you use on a daily basis. By subscribing, you can save 5%-15% on products like toilet paper, that you need to buy every month anyway. 

Click here for more details on Seventh Generation Toilet Paper!

 

Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent: 

 

laundry detergent cardboard box Seventh Generation is a B Corp or a “Public Benefit Corporation”.

According to Investopia, a B Corp has “a legal framework that holds the firm to a higher standard than just the pure pursuit of profit.”

Seventh Generation is committed to their employees, the community, and their environment.

Hence, the scents are made from real essential oils and botanical extracts. Consequently, their products do not contain synthetic fragrances or dyes.

Seventh Generation’s laundry detergent is a USDA Certified Biobased Product. This means that 96% of the detergent is made with plant-based ingredients

According to their website,

“Biobased products are those derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials, as opposed to non-renewable materials, such as petroleum.”

 

The Seventh Generation laundry detergent uses a powerful triple-enzyme formula that fights tough stains. Since the ingredients are plant-based, the detergent is hypoallergenic and made for sensitive skin.

The case of the bottle is made from biodegradable cardboard (plastic use is minimal for pour spout).

Why not post a powder laundry detergent that comes in a 100% recyclable box? Because I have found that powders leave a white film residue behind. I want to offer a balance between the best customer experience and eco-friendliness.

Additionally, this product is “EPA Safer Choice Certified”.

Click here to check out Seventh Generation’s laundry detergent!

 

A Biodegradable Cellulose All-Purpose Cleaning Towel:

 

Swedish Dishcloths

Swedish Dishcloths are super absorbing, reusable, eco-friendly, biodegradable, and made of plant cellulose.

They come in a pack of 10, and can be used in the kitchen, around the house, and even on your car. Love them or get your money back with a 100% money back guarantee!

What’s crazy, is that they can absorb 20x their weight in liquids! They are soft to the touch when wet, yet gritty enough for scrubbing when dry.

Swedish Dishcloths

Swedish dishcloths are dishwasher and washing machine safe, which make them easy to clean.

They are made from biodegradable cellulose and all natural cotton (80% cellulose / 20% cotton).

The Swedish Dishcloth is naturally odor resistant and a vegan product.

If you are currently using a microfiber cleaning towel, click here to check out the all natural eco-friendly Swedish Dishcloth.

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview: 

 

You can take make a difference right now by deciding to start small.

Discontinue using microfibers and plastic. We all have to work together to prevent global warming, climate change, and resource depletion.

Remember, by purchasing eco-friendly products you signal to the market that there is a demand for these items.

Manufacturers follow the money, so vote with your dollars and only reward companies who look out for its community and the planet.

 

Related Resources: 

 

 

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to share so that we can spread-the-word and create a large scale impact.

Have any questions, comment below!

4 Solar Powered Eco-Friendly Gadgets for Campers

4 Solar Powered Eco-Friendly Gadgets for Campers

These 4 solar powered Eco-friendly gadgets are for campers who want to leave no trace, reduce their carbon footprint, and enjoy the outdoors!

solar powered Eco-friendly gadgets are for campers

Solar power is abundant, clean, renewable, and effective. Get this, each hour, enough sunlight reaches the earth’s surface to meet the world’s energy demand for a year! All we need to do is harness that power!

The best thing about solar energy is that the only cost is to install and maintain the solar panels.

Unlike renewable energy, we regularly need to explore for coal and oil. There is a constant need to drill, refine, and distribute the energy.

Coal creates acid rain, and “clean coal” creates coal ash, which is a sludge of toxic material. To link how this affects us in real life, ill point to a Washington Post article covering the recent Hurricane Florence disaster. 

“A second breach has occurred in a coal ash landfill at a Duke Energy facility. Flooding had damaged a containment wall this weekend and led to an estimated 2,000 cubic yards of coal ash flowing into a ditch not far from the Cape Fear River…The company said the coal ash, which the EPA considers toxic, poses no hazard to the public or the environment. “

 

I am floored by the fact that coal and oil companies refuse to take responsibility for all the harm that they are causing. So what can we do about it?? Support clean energy industries!!!

 

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The Product Life Cycle of Solar Energy 

 

 

Product-Life-Cycle-ManagementFirst, let’s chat about the solar industry. Currently, solar power is still in its infant stages.

This means that the support through the purchase of its products is critical to the survival of the industry.

Every product goes through a growth cycle. Let’s take a look at this graph to the left, provided by cleverism.com.

In the introduction phase, the cost to produce products are rather expensive, but as sales grow it becomes cheaper to produce.

The reduction in cost is caused by economies of scale. 

Economies of scale occur when it becomes cheaper to build a product because you are producing so much of it. You can think of it like buying in bulk, which typically means that you get the product at a cheaper price per unit.

As more solar power products are bought, it spurs new investment into creating more efficient solar energy designs.

In physics, the Shockley–Queisser limit, is the maximum theoretical efficiency of a solar cellWilliam Shockley and Hans-Joachim Queisser were the first to calculate this limit back in 1961. These two scientists theorized that solar panels would have a maximum efficiency of 30%.

Today, scientists have developed a solar cell that is capable of converting direct sunlight into electricity with 44.5% efficiency

With a bit of time and dedicated research, we are able to blow past previous limitations.

Current most solar technology only converts electricity with a maximum efficiency of about 25 percent. As cutting-edge technologies spread, more manufacturers will be able to integrate increased solar energy capacity into their products.

So how can we get the free-market and companies to invest more in solar?? Read on!

 

How You Can Make a Difference: 

 

Here is another way to look at the situation. By purchasing solar products, you are essentially providing investment to solar energy companies to create more efficient products :).

We are just starting to invest in solar energy. As with all new innovations, products need to go through beta testing (several trial phases).

We the people are a part of this growth cycle, and help solar energy manufacturers by giving them feedback. This, in turn, helps them make a better product which results in more utility for us.

The more time and money our society invests in any field, the more technological advances will occur.

If we do not support solar companies through the purchases of their products, it will signal to the market that there is not enough demand in this area to warrant investment in new technologies.

This will result in companies choosing to spend their R&D (research and development) budgets elsewhere.

Moreover, we will not reach the learning curve benefits or economies of scale which lead to the cheaper production of solar products.

You CAN make a difference. The mentality that your actions don’t matter needs to go away. Remember, 500 million straws are used every day!

 

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With that said, here are 4 awesome, super useful camping gadgets that use solar energy!

 

 

1. Solar Powered Hiking Backpack

 

This lightweight (less than 3 lb.) hydration backpack comes with a 7 wall solar panel! A 5 volt USB port attachment can be used to charge smartphones, tablets, Bluetooth speakers, GoPro Cameras, and more!  

Solar power camping backpackAround 90% of solar panels are made from silicon and come in two forms.

  1. Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Cells (more efficient and more expensive)
  2. Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells (less efficient, shorter lifespan, and less expensive)

This backpack has one of the most efficient monocrystalline solar panels commercially available on the market. It has an efficiency rating as high as 22.5%.

Furthermore, it also comes with a 1.8L water bladder and has several pockets and compartments for storage.

The ECEEN backpack is weather-proof, made from reliable materials, and is a necessary eco-friendly addition to your collection of hiking gear!

 

 

2. The Ultimate Solar Charger: 

 

The Ayyie 25,000mAh (milli-ampere hour) Solar Power Bank has a 3-port output and 36 LED light!!!

I recently bought one of these puppies, and boy does it have a long battery life! The battery can charge your phone up to 7+ times. 

Portable solar charger

If you are thinking about doing a summer travel living the “van life”, this would be the perfect solution for keeping all of your gadgets charged!

You should charge the battery to full by a USB cable, and then regularly top it off by leaving it in the sun.

This solar power battery pack works great in conjunction with the solar hydration backpack (listed above)!

The backpack is a passive solar charger, meaning that it does not store energy. It can only charge things that are connected to the USB cord during the day.

But with this battery pack, you can save the electricity and power your gadgets at night too.

To speed up the charging, you can plug the battery pack into the USB cord that is connected to the hydration pack and leave both out in the sun for maximum charging capacity.

Moreover, this battery pack is relatively small for the serious power punch it packs. It’s great for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities!

What’s more is that the manufacturer offers a 12-month warranty!!!

Check out the Ayyie Solar Power Bank here!

 

3. The 3-in-1 Solar Shower, Hydration Pack, and Airtight Dry Bag:

 

sustainable comping shower

The Green Elephant 3-in-1 bag really does it all! Portable solar shower, drinkable water carrier, and dry bag.

This bag is awesome for kayakers and whitewater rafters. Its multifunctional use makes it well worth carrying on backpacking trips!

When you are hiking around in the outdoors every inch counts, so don’t waste space with single-function supplies! This bag heats water for a warm solar shower (or can be used to rinse off your gear).

It is made of an Eco-friendly material called TPU, which is biodegradable (4 years if left in soil).

TPU is a trusted material that is widely used in the healthcare industry. Furthermore, TPU is solvent-free and non-toxic. What this really means is that you can drink from the bag and use it as a hydration pack!

Moreover, most portable camping showers are made from toxic PVC. To read more about how terrible PVC is for your health you click “Top 5 Eco-Friendly Sustainable Yoga Mats.

The Green Elephant bag is super durable (abrasion AND puncture resistant), and it never cracks under cold conditions.

Even when full, the Green Elephant bag stands upright on a wide structured base. This bag is easily collapsible and can be rolled up for convenient storage!

What’s more, is it include a FREE bonus 5m rope that allows you to hang your solar shower bag anywhere!

Check out this nifty solar shower bag that comes in 2 sizes (Demi and a Double) by clicking here.

 

4. ECEEN’s Collapsible Solar Camping Lights 

Solar camping light

 

ECEEN’s Collapsible Solar Camping Lights are rainproof and can be charged with a USB cord or with the sun’s light.

This flashlight comes with a convenient hanging handle and is a pocket-sized portable LED tent light.

Of course, this camping lamp offers sufficient light with four different modes including:

  • White light
  • Warm light
  • Warm light low
  • Candlelight

 

It is super convenient because it can be completely folded down. Space and storage are critical to all backpackers and campers. The silicone lampshade of the lantern is water resistant and can be used in the rain. 

To check out the full details and measurements of the Collapsible Solar Camping Light, click here!

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

 

Help prevent climate change and global warming by supporting solar power products today!

Remember, by purchasing renewable energy products you are helping our society move toward a more sustainable future!

Don’t forget that half the battle is about conserving the resources that we currently have.

Water is one of the most important resources we have on this planet, and we are only able to use 1% of it! Click here to read about how you can save 10,000+ gallons of water every year in your home! What a 2-in-1 deal (save money and the Earth)!

Moreover, our actions toward a sustainable future have to be manifold. We need to increase our support of renewable energy, while simultaneously decreasing the demand for fossil fuels and plastic.

Moore’s Law is a computing term which originated around 1970, and it states that processing power for computers will double every two years! If we continue focusing our society’s attention on renewable energy, we will be able to achieve a future without fossil fuels.

 

For those who think that their actions don’t matter, I want to reference this quote:

 

Solar sustainability its only 1 straw

 

Sharing is caring! If you have enjoyed this content, don’t forget to share this post!! Let’s spread the word and news about sustainability!

Please feel free to share your experiences. Do you produce any eco-friendly products that I need to know about and should share with the world? If so comment below!

 

 

How to Diversify and Allocate your Finances

How to Diversify and Allocate your Finances

How to diversify and allocate your finances

The diversification of your finances is one of the most important tasks you can work (or get started) on today. We often hear that the best time to start is now.

The good news is that Millennials and the Z Generation still have a long life ahead of them. Saving and investing for the future works best when you have longevity on your side! This is because of the compounding nature of interest.

Compounding occurs when a bank or an account pays interest on both the principal (the original amount of money) and the interest an account has already earned.

To calculate compounding interest you can visit Investor.gov.

 

Types of Accounts that Pay Compounding Interest:

 

  • Most savings accounts
  • money market accounts
  • certificates of deposit (CDs)
  • Retirement accounts (IRA’s and 401k’s)

Interest Rates: A Current and Historical View

 

Over the past several years, the federal funds rate (the interest rate at which the federal reserve lends money to other banking institutions) has been ridiculously low! The Federal Reserve has been trying to stimulate the economy by lowering the interest rate.

This means that the public is penalized for keeping their money in the bank and incentivized to invest in the stock market or take out loans to purchase larger items.

Currently, at the time of this writing, you are lucky to get even close to a 1% return on your investment for putting cash in the bank.

The world of finance is part of a natural business cycle. What goes up,  must come down. This means that although we have experienced nearly 8 years of fairly low interest rates, the federal reserve will someday have to increase it in order to prevent a runaway (overheated) economy.

Over the last 200 years we can see that interest rates have increased and decreased over time:

Finance.-Average-interest-rate-over-200-years

Photo credit average interest rate over the last 200 years

Why Cash is King

You might be saying, why would I put my money in the bank and only earn 1%? Especially since inflation is nearly 2% to 3% per year! Wouldn’t I be losing money? The short answer is yes.

This is why I recommend a diversified portfolio. In financial terms, diversification means spreading out your risk. In more simple terms, it means not putting all of your eggs in one basket. You should allocate a percentage of your income each month towards saving, investing, and retirement.

You may be wondering why I am advocating that a portion of your investment portfolio should be held in cash. This is because cash is king! Currently, we have been experiencing an 8-year bull market. While it might be tempting to invest all of your money into the skyrocketing stock market, at some point the market will take a turn.

When it does, the cash that you have been saving will give you the opportunity to purchase heavily discounted assets (foreclosed homes, stocks that took a beating, etc).

There are two kinds of buyers. Momentum buyers and contrarians.

Momentum buyers purchase when the stock market is rallying (headed in an upwards direction) and believe that the stock will continue to rise. This is also called purchasing with the crowd or crowd consensus.

On the other hand, contrarians love discount shopping! Contrarians know that the business cycle has natural ups and downs. They are the ones waiting for the inevitable “coming of winter” (Game of Thrones reference there). Contrarian investors were the ones purchasing all of the foreclosed homes in the middle of the Great Recession (in 2010) with CASH!

Roth IRA’s

In a prior blog ” Roth IRA: How to Become a Millionaire by the Time You Retire! “, I explain how over any 40 year period the average return rate of the stock market is about 7% a year. This includes all of the ups and downs (booms and busts). An awesome blog called, “Dollar after Dollar” created a Pinterest post showing how compounded interest works (he used an 8% yearly return on investment).

Most of the Millennial and Z Generation realize that Social Security will probably be a thing of the past (when we come of age to collect).

This means that more than ever we need to save for our retirement, have a rainy day fund, plan for our children’s college savings(through a tax-advantaged 529 plan), and have enough money to enjoy our lives today.

The financial world can be difficult to navigate, which is why it is so important to prioritize and automate many of the functions. Automation is the best thing that can happen to your financial life! The specific steps are included in this blog.

The Current Financial Situation for the Millennial and Z Generation 

Millennial’s, people who are born from 1981 to 1996 and are now between the ages of 22 to 37. We are entering a stage where many of us are getting married, having children, and really getting into our careers.  The difficulty is that our finances are being pulled from many opposing directions.

For the Z Generation (1995 to 2010 or ages 8-22) the oldest of you are just starting college, landing your first job, learning how to build credit, possibly navigating taking on student debt, and living on your own.

You are at the perfect point where building the right habits can really make a difference in the trajectory of your life! You haven’t had time to make bad and severely impactful financial decisions yet.  What you do NOW will affect the rest of your life.

One of the biggest takeaway points that I learned from a finance professor in college was to start a Roth IRA and max it out ($5,500) every year for 40 years. If you do this, financial calculators online will show you that you can save over $1 million for your retirement.

Growing up with FOMO (fear of missing out) has led to a situation where many Millenials have not started to save for retirement or plan for the future. Generation Z, don’t let this be your story too. Prioritizing and planning through a set of predetermined percentages will help you set aside the right amount of money each month.

Steps to Get your Finances on Track:

1) Track your income and expenses

2) Go through your monthly expenses and see where you can cut back on spending

3) Set a dollar amount or percentage of income that you want to save per month

4) Look at your expenses and see what else needs to be eliminated so that you can meet that goal (step 3)

5) Set up overdraft protection on your bank accounts (and credit cards)

6) Set up an auto deduction of the dollar amount you chose to save (step 3) to be diverted to a “rainy day” fund account (your bank will be able to help you do this. Most banks allow you to set this up online as well).

7) Set up an auto deduction of $458 ($5,500/year) each month to be diverted to a Roth IRA. Read about how to dollar cost average and purchase ETFs.

8) Set your credit cards, rent/mortgage, and utilities on auto pay.

9)Perform a monthly audit of your credit card statements. I have personally caught at least one fraudulent financial transaction every 6-8 months on one of my credit cards.

10) Check your credit history and score often!

** A rainy day fund: should cover 3-6 months of expenses without any income coming in.

Taking these steps will ensure that you are automatically saving each month. It means that you have made saving a priority!

Do not save what is left over after spending, spend what is left over after saving!

Warren Buffet

If you are maxing out your credit cards, read “How to Increase your Credit Score Now”.

 

Ways to Cut Expenses (Costs):

  • Go on a hike instead of going to the movies- This doubles as exercise and a great way to chat with family or catch up with a friend!
  • Cook at home and meal prep instead of going out to eat- Read the article How to Aggregate Time to Become More Efficient
  • swap yoga and calisthenics on Youtube for a gym membership
  • Opt for Netflix and your cancel cable subscription
  • Live in a smaller apartment
  • Most outdoor activities only require that you buy the equipment once (there is no membership cost)

 

Just remember, every dollar and activity comes with an opportunity cost. There is always a cheaper alternative! On that note, let’s talk about the opportunity cost (the loss of an alternative option) of the earth’s natural resources vs exponential economic growth!

Balancing Economic Growth with Environmental Sustainability:

 

The difficulty is that we live in an economy of ever-increasing exponential economic growth. The government and financial institutions would like to see a 2% to 3% growth in GDP every year for the indefinite future. In order for this to happen, we constantly need to go through boom and bust debt cycles. According to Investopia’s article called “Is Infinite Economic Growth on a Finite Planet Possible?

Economic growth has been defended for its contributions to human well-being and increasing standards of living. Yet, it is becoming more evident that the degree to which economic growth has depended upon increasing use of the Earth’s natural resources is unsustainable. It is clear that we cannot continue to consume more water, burn more fuel and spew out more and more carbon dioxide at ever increasing rates. While theoretically possible, we are at a point in history where separating economic growth from physical growth has to become a reality or economic growth will begin to reduce human well-being.

Natural resource depletion and degradation have left us with phrases such as peak oil, global warming, and climate change.

I am sure we remember our parents telling us that relationships work best when we “give and take”. The relationship between humans and mother nature has been unequal for a long time. I urge you to read the children’s book “The Giving Tree”.

Not only is budgeting and saving money good for your bottom line, but it is also good for the planet. We need to learn to live in harmony because it is our future that is at stake. This blog is all about education and promoting intellectual conversations. What kinds of activates do you do that are low cost and have a low environmental impact? Comment below!