Sustainable Living: DIY Earth Friendly Hand Cream

Sustainable Living: DIY Earth Friendly Hand Cream

If you are like me, I always struggle when it comes to buying thoughtful and sustainable gifts for birthdays and holidays!

Sustainable living has become a topic that I think about throughout my day. As you’re making your way through a more minimalist, zero-waste lifestyle, one of the essential steps, is to swap out the plastic/disposable items with more sustainable alternatives. This is where making beauty products for yourself and friends can really come in handy!

One of the greatest benefits of making your own lotions, lip balms, and hair salves, is that you can save a ton of money, use higher quality products, and reuse your containers over and over again. My goal here at Eco Economics is to show you how to save thousands of dollars by going green and how to reinvest those savings into financial vehicles that will help you gain your financial freedom.

 

The Perfect Home Made Gift:

 

Winter always makes my hands dry and chapped. So it’s time to make my favorite super rich & creamy dry hand lotion.  My friends and I love this stuff!

When I make a batch, I usually make several bottles all at once. This is because:

  • I purchase in bulk to save money and the earth from additional packaging.
  • Reduces the number of times I have to make the lotion. Meaning fewer times I have to clean up.
  • I have an inventory of lotion so that I don’t run out. This also means that I can give some away as thank you or birthday gifts.

Having an inventory of homemade gifts makes gift-giving super convenient. I try my best to remember, but there are times when we all forget that special someone’s birthday.  Luckily, by having a few extra lotions laying around, I have prepared for such a situation. I can easily run home and grab one of my homemade creamy lotions.  Bang! You have a thoughtful, inexpensive, and personal gift ready to go!

 

Sustainable Living: Handmade Organic Lotions Over the Store-Bought Kind

 

I have a rule. If I can’t pronounce what is in the box or bottle, it doesn’t belong in or on my body. The best thing about making your own is that you know exactly what you are putting in your lotion!

Take a quick look at the ingredients in the lotions, shampoos, and conditioners in your bathroom. Most likely, they have an ingredient label calked full of stuff that you can pronounce!

For example, I looked up the ingredients for Nivea lotion. According to the company’s website, the ingredients are:

 

Aqua, Paraffinum Liquidum, Cera Microcristallina, Glycerin, LanolinAlcohol(Eucerit®), Paraffin, Panthenol, Magnesium Sulfate, Decyl Oleate, Octyldodecanol, Aluminum Stearates, Citric Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Limonene, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Citronellol, Benzyl Benzoate, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Parfum.

I am not a chemist. But maybe you are, so you know where all of those ingredients come from and what they are. In the case that you aren’t a chemist, like me, I know that I feel so much better when I know exactly what I am rubbing all over my body.

Tired of paying $10 or more for 8 ounces of luxury lotion? You can make ten times 8 ounces for under $10 and have a much higher quality product… If you make it yourself.

 

 

Here’s what you’ll need to make this Rich & Creamy Sustainable Hand Lotion

 

1. Shea Butter

 

The Why: This raw organic Shea butter is a godsend when it comes to dry skin and hair. It is rich in vitamins A, E, F, and K. Moreover, it has natural fatty acids, which provide the building blocks to make prostaglandins. An agent that decrease inflammation in the body.

Fatty acids have many functions in the body and play a role in:

  • oxygen transport
  • development of strong tissues and organs
  • healthy looking skin
  • immune system health

 

 

Eco Benefits: Shea butter is one of the world’s most sustainable natural resources. Shea trees grow naturally in the grasslands of West and Central Africa and do not need any irrigation, fertilizer, or pesticides.

Health Benefits: Vitamins in the Shea butter have soothing and hydrating properties. This means that it promotes healthy skin collagen, and prevents premature wrinkles. 

 

 

2. Beeswax

 

The Why: This is my favorite beeswax because it has been triple filtered under strict organic USDA guidelines and was created naturally by healthy honeybees in a NON-GMO, pesticide-free environment!

Eco Benefits: Bees, honey, and wax are incredibly beneficial to the environment. Not only do bees pollinate your food crops, but you can use almost all of their by-products.

Health benefits: Beeswax locks in moisture and can help keep your skin feeling firm and plump. Another benefit is that beeswax contains anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, it is one of the best skin care ingredients for healing rosacea and eczema. Additionally, beeswax does not clog your pores and is an exceptional natural alternative to mineral oil.

Mineral oil is made from petroleum, and the process of its extraction is a major cause of climate change and global warming.

If sustainable living is one of your new year’s resolutions, then finding swaps for petroleum and oil-based products are going to be high on your list.

 

 

3. Jojoba Oil

 

The Why: Jojoba oil has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus it contains vitamins B and E. Jojoba is a shrub that grows in the Sonoran Desert of the US and Mexico.

It has many special characteristics, which makes it inherently sustainable:

  • Long lifespan (some shrubs can live over 100 years).
  • No annual re-planting required (as only the seeds are harvested).
  • Produces seed oil that is non-perishable.
  • Disease, pest, and drought resistant.
  • Grows in arid climates (requires less water).

.

Budget Benefits: A bit of Jojoba oil goes a long way. You don’t need very much to get the job done.

Tip: The Jojoba oil is a bit more expensive per ounce than other carrier oils. Sometimes I will add raw organic food-grade coconut oil to bring the cost down.

Health Benefits: Jojoba oil is rich in iodine, which fights harmful bacteria growth that can lead to breakouts. Additionally, natural antioxidants help heal sunburns and fight infections.

 

 

My Favorite Rich and Creamy Hand Lotion Recipe:

 

  1. 1/4 cup shea butter
  2. 1 Tbsp. Jojoba oil (carrier oil)
  3. 1 Tbsp coconut oil (carrier oil)
  4. 1.5 Tbsp. beeswax
  5. 10 drops of essential oils
  6. Let it sit on your countertop to cool!

 

You are done! That was super simple and easy. This whole process takes me around 15 min.

 

How to Prepare Your Mixture: 

 

  1. Heat the mixture in a glass measuring cup, that is sitting in a pot (containing water) over a stove top (on low).
  2. Use the microwave on 50% power. When using the microwave, I periodically check and mix the concoction in 15-second increments. I start off with the thickets ingredients first and then add the liquid ingredients last. Meaning, melt the beeswax first, then add the coconut oil and Shea butter. You do not need to microwave the liquid ingredients (jojoba oil and essential oils). Make sure to stir the mixture periodically.

Sometimes if I am lazy, I microwave the mixture straight in the glass jars (mentioned below). This reduced the cleanup time. I have gotten it down to where I just dirty 1 spoon!

What’s better than soft and smooth skin?  Soft and smooth skin that smells like fresh-picked Lavender and rose!

My Top 3 Favorite Essential Oils:

 

  • Eucalyptus– Eucalyptus essential oil has been used for centuries as a decongestant, deodorant, and disinfectant. That is because it naturally has antiseptic, anti-bacterial,  and anti-inflammatory properties.  Not only does eucalyptus essential oil smell amazing, but it stimulates your immune system! This is why I tend to make a eucalyptus essential oil during the winter time.
  • Rose– Rose essential oil is a powerhouse of anti-aging goodness!  It is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness and blemishes. It also improves blood flow and helps keep skin moisturized. I love to make rose-scented lotions and lip balms in the summertime.
  • Lavender– Lavender essential oil is an antioxidant that fights free radicals (which contribute to skin damage).  It has been proven to help circulation and increase blood flow to the skin. This allows oxygen and nutrients to reach the skin for the renewal and healing process.

 

Reusable Containers:

 

The Budget Benefit: Reuse these jars and tin containers over and over again.

 

4. Reusable Glass Jars

The Why: Contains Twelve 4oz jars with inner liners and dome lids that create a tight seal. You won’t have to worry about your handmade lotions leaking or spilling. You can get a hold of these jars on Amazon here. 

 

 

5. Screw Top Tin Containers

The Why: I use these tin containers to make my own lip balms/moisturizers. This container is also perfect for making hair waxes and beard balms for friends.

Eco Benefits: Tin cans are reusable and recyclable. Plastic, like paper, has fibers that shorten each time it is recycled. Glass, steel, and aluminum do not lose their quality during the recycling process and can be recycled endlessly.

Health Benefits: Lotions are often made with petroleum derivatives. Instead, opt to use minimally processed oils and plant-based ingredients.

 

Bonus Tips:

 

  • If you want a thicker consistency, then add more beeswax (lip balm and hair waxes are thicker than lotion). 
  • I tend to make a bunch of beauty products all at once, so I can fill several refillable containers. That way I have an inventory of products when I need them.
  • Lip balms, lotions, and hair waxes often contain many of the same ingredients (in varying quantities). This allows me to make a variety of personal care products with different essential oils, all at once.
  • These homemade beauty products make awesome, inexpensive, and thoughtful gifts.
  • If you want a thicker consistency, then just add more beeswax (lip balm is thicker than lotion). 
  • If you are visiting a dry area, like a high desert, mix Jojoba oil with coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil to create a super moisturizing hand oil.
    • Another use is to rub a dime-sized drop between the palm of your hands and then run it through the tips of your hair.  Make sure that you keep the oil towards the tips of your hair so that you don’t end up with a greasy look.

By making homemade hand cream, you can skip driving to the store and wandering around aimlessly looking for a thoughtful gift. Never get caught off guard by having to think about what to give a friend for their birthday, graduation, or celebration gift.

 

Like what you see? Stay a while!

 

Give a sustainable gift that is homemade, from the heart, and improves skin elasticity. Every friend will love you for it! Save money by making your own beauty products at home.

In sum, you will be using higher quality organic ingredients on your permeable skin, over petroleum (oil based) products. 

Take action today, and visit the Sustainability Shop to start using zero-waste, plastic alternative, and biodegradable products.  I have done the work of reading the labels and reviews to offer you the best sustainable products on the market.

I want to encourage you to reuse your belongings until they are either broken or no longer useful and you need to replace them. Of course, if you are using something that is not good for your health (like cooking with Teflon that was manufactured prior to 2013 or drinking from plastic water bottles), then purchasing a replacement makes sense.

If global warming, climate change, and resource depletion are important topics to you, then enroll in a FREE 5-day email course to learn about other money-saving sustainability swaps and actions that you can take to save the world!

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New Year’s Resolutions to Create a Sustainable 2019

New Year’s Resolutions to Create a Sustainable 2019

Happy New Year’s! I am so grateful for all of the amazing things that happened in 2018 and am so excited for all that is to come in 2019. January is usually the time when we look out into the future and set a few goals to improve our lives. Striving toward a more sustainable lifestyle is one goal that has budget, environment, and health benefits.

The goal of Eco Economics is to show you how to save thousands of dollars by going green and how to reinvest those savings into financial vehicles that will help you gain your financial freedom.

Living a sustainable lifestyle has wide sweeping impacts on:
  • Our children’s future
  • You and your parent’s respiratory health
  • Quality of the food you eat
  • The environment that you live in
  • The planet’s biodiversity

 

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. 

What is really scary to think about is that three-quarters of the world’s mega-cities are by the sea. Moreover, imagine the level of geopolitical instability that would occur should billions of people need to relocate due to rising sea levels.

According to the UN, 2.4 billion people (40% of the world’s population) live within 60 miles of the coast. To give you a comparison, the recent instability in Syria has displaced 13 million people. Now, just imagine the level of crisis that would occur should 1 billion people need to find new homes. I am not an alarmist. I just want you to know the facts.

 

This infographic, provided by the Union of Concerned Scientists, does a fantastic job of showing you how much water levels could rise over the next 100 years.

 

 

I urge you to join me by taking the Sustainability Pledge and promising to be the change that the world, our children, and the future needs. Start by educating yourself and investing in a sustainable lifestyle.

If global warming, climate change, and resource depletion are important topics to you, then sign up for the Free Sustainability Mini-Email Course.

7 New Year’s Resolutions to Create a Sustainable 2019:

 

If you are reading this article, it is because you are actively looking for ways to reduce your waste, increase your energy efficiency, cut down on spending, and live a healthier lifestyle.

With that in mind, I am sure that some of you are even looking to go a step further. Know this, eco-friendly, zero-waste, and minimalism are not all-or-nothing concepts. It’s about becoming conscious of your actions and starting small. Taking many small steps can result in a major social movement. As a consequence of your actions today, social movements can change the course of history.

The more you act and buy green, the easier it becomes. Soon, you won’t even have to think about it…It will just become “the way things are done”.

So, let’s get straight to it! Here are a few New Year’s resolutions that you can make to live a more sustainable lifestyle in 2019.

 

1. Plant a Carbon Sequestering Garden:

Reduce how much you spend at the grocery store each week by starting an organic carbon sequestering garden!

Planting an edible garden is one way you can make a huge difference by helping sequester carbon from the atmosphere!

Want to know what you need to start a carbon sequestering garden? Click here to learn about the benefits and how to get started!

2. Create a Habitat for Mason Bees:

 

In recent years, the decline of bees has become a cause for major concern for everyone.

Bees help farmers pollinate the crops that we rely on for food.  You can help our environment and eat better tasting  (bigger fruits and vegetables) by starting your very own Mason Bee garden.

Mason bees are 10x more productive than the common honey bee. This is because they are more efficient at pollinating flowers. What’s more is that they don’t travel as far to collect pollen so they are less likely to be exposed to diseases. Mason Bees cannot create their own hives, which is how you can help them by providing them a place to live!

Here is a quick video by TED that explains why our bee populations are in such great decline.

 

Starting your own bee garden is super simple and cheap!

 

3. Purchase a Zero-Waste Kit:

 

Making the switch over to a zero-waste or minimalist lifestyle has a relatively small start-up cost. One of the benefits of switching over to a sustainable lifestyle is that these products that will save you money over the long run!

One useful tip is to have a “to-go zero-waste car kit” that always stays in your car. I always keep reusable bags, to-go containers, a clean coffee mug, a full reusable water bottle, and a utensil kit in the back seat of my car. This way the kit is always on me where ever I go and whenever I need it.

Your zero-waste home kit should contain the following items at the very least:

4. Avoid Single-Use Items:

 

Bring your own or just decline the following items:

  • Cups
  • Balloons
  • Straws
  • To-go doggy bags
  • Fast food waste
  • Paper towels
  • Aluminum foil (use a silicone baking mat instead)

 

 

5. Water Conservation:

 

In total, humans can only use 1% of all the water resources on earth. The EPA website states that the U.S. population has doubled over the past 50 years, while our thirst for water has nearly tripled!!!

The US government estimates that at least 40 states anticipate having water shortages by 2024. Clearly, the need to conserve water is critical.

What you can do:

 

6. Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency:

 

Insulating your home will increase its energy efficiency, reduce your energy usage, and save you tons of money! The more air-tight your home is, the more money you can save. This is because heat won’t escape during the winter and the cool air will stay in your home during the summer. 

What you can do:

You can find additional 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.

 

7. Learn Online:

 

Take full advantage of the library system. You can listen to and read books online for free through an app called OverDrive which is connected to your local library. Subscribe to online versions of the news. Read informative sustainable books and watch documentaries to learn about what the mass media isn’t covering.

Become a life-long student and invest in yourself. Sustainability and personal finance are two topics that are not taught in schools, yet they impact every person’s life on this planet. Master your personal finances and learn how to live a more sustainable lifestyle by taking the Free Increase Your Financial IQ Mini-Email Course. 

Learn how to save thousands of dollars by going green and then how to reinvest that money to gain your financial freedom!

Reduce your carbon output by learning online and in your pajamas.

 

Increase your Financial IQ

 

 

Articles that may interest you:

 

Did you know that it only takes 25% of a population to start a major social movement?

Become a Sustainability Hero by helping me spread the world! Please re-pin and share, so that I can continue to provide you with free content.

 

How to Reduce Climate Change by Acting and Buying Green

How to Reduce Climate Change by Acting and Buying Green

How to reduce or eliminate your climate change impact by acting and buying green. Living a sustainable lifestyle means something slightly different to everyone. The end goal is that everyone becomes a little more conscious of how they are using the earth’s resources and takes small but meaningful steps to reduce their impact.

reduce climate change

It doesn’t matter where you are in your sustainable living journey.

Start by taking a mental inventory of where you are currently. Then, make changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle so that we can move toward a greener future together 🙂

Even politicians are having to come around to the fact global warming and climate change are issues that we are going to have to deal with in the near future.

If we know that global warming and climate change is a major problem, then why not tackle it today…Rather than put it off, and let it grow into a larger issue that we still have to face tomorrow.

There are two ways for us to tackle this problem.

The answer is to act in ways that prevent global warming, and purchase products from companies that consciously manufacture goods with social and environmental integrity.

 

What Does it Mean to Live Sustainably?

Sustainable living is not just about reducing your carbon output. Here is a quick list of meanings that come to my mind when someone says the word sustainability:

Acting and Buying Green:

Acting green means to change your habits, whereas buying green means to consciously purchasing products that are manufactured in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

One way to both act and purchase green is to start your own carbon sequestering organic garden!

A Carbon Sequestering Organic Garden Helps Reverse Global Warming and Climate Change:

 

Planting a fruit, vegetable, and herb garden helps take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turns it back into clean oxygen!

Let’s take it a step further, and talk about why you should take the organic garden route.

Then later in the article, I’ll talk about how you can use an all natural pesticide and fertilizer (worm casting) to keep your garden from being eaten alive by bugs.

When I say all-natural, I really do mean 100% (no-chemicals involved) natural fertilizer that doubles as a pesticide!

Home gardening accounts for nearly 80 million pounds of pesticides used per year in North America.

Most of these chemicals are used to control those annoying insects that eat your fruits and vegetables.

Unfortunately, these chemicals find their way into streams or rivers as runoff, and from there into the oceans.

In sum, these pollutants and chemicals are not confined to our oceans and drinking water resources. We end up consuming them through the food web too.

Much of our food livestock eats pounds of grain that have soaked up these chemicals through the soil. This is called bioaccumulation.

Biomagnification is when we consume meat that has eaten lots of polluted corn meal or grain, and the pollutants travel up the food chain and into our bodies.

When you eat contaminated food, you absorb those chemicals and over time they build up in your body.

 

Starting an organic garden is a great way to:
  • Reverse climate change (when you carbon sequester, you turn carbon dioxide back into oxygen which reverses global warming)!!
  • Reduces your weekly grocery bill.
  • Be healthier (and the food tastes better!).

Worm Casting: 

 

Worm casting is a natural fertilizer that is also a pesticide!worm casting

Instead of growing grass, grow edible organic fruits and vegetables!

Before you ask about the additional water costs, ill point you to this awesome rainwater collector!

Rainwater collector

 

 

Eco Economics is all about showing you how you can save money by going green and then reinvesting that money to gain your financial freedom!

If you would like to learn more, you can take the Free Sustainability Mini-Email Course by clicking here.

Starting a carbon sequestering garden will save you money, your health, and the environment.

To read about the 14 benefits of starting your own carbon sequestering organic garden click here! You will also learn more about the 8 benefits of worm casting and composting!

Now that we have covered ‘how to reduce the number of chemicals that you put into your body’, let’s take a look at how to reduce the number of chemicals inside of your home.

 

 

Buying Green Cleaners:

 

Another way that your body comes into contact with chemicals is through the many cleaning agents that you use to “sanitize” your home.

By using zero-waste or minimally packaged concentrated natural cleaners, you can cut down on your resource consumption and limit the toxins in your home.

I personally love the zero-waste Provence de Marseille Soap.

You can use it to remove tough stains on clothes, grease from dishes, or to shower off with at the end of the day.

This soap is primarily composed of Olive Oil and is made of 100% vegetable ingredients.

Of course, it is cruelty-free and does not contain colorants or artificial ingredients!

 

Buying Concentrates:

 

Branch Basics bottleMy favorite all-natural concentrate cleaner is by Branch Basics.

The concentrate is a powerful plant and mineral based cleaner.

The Benefits of Using a Concentrate are:
  • Less packaging means more eco-friendly (liquids condense into smaller bottles and fewer bottles need to be purchased on an annual basis).
  • Less transportation fuel (why ship diluted cleaners to the store or to your home? That’s just silly).
  • Save money (buying a cleaner in a concentrated formula is cheaper than purchasing a diluted version + save money on packaging).
  • Re-fill and reuse the plastic squirt bottles that you already own.

Moreover, you can save as much as half of your yearly cleaning budget by buying your cleaners in a concentrated formula!

The average cost of a 32 oz “green” cleaner is $6.18 (or $0.20 per ounce).

Instead, a 32 oz. bottle of Branch Basics Concentrate can make 16 All-Purpose bottles (24 oz), at $3.06 each ($0.12 per oz)!

This all-purpose cleaner is so natural and healthy that you can basically use it everywhere.

It may be harder to think of places where it can’t be used…

The Branch Basics Concentrate is great for:

  • All-Purpose: Appliances, Dishes, Granite, Grills, Highchairs, Jewelry, Marble, Natural Stone, Pacifiers, Pots & Pans, Stains, Stovetops, Sticky Spills, Yoga Mats
  • Bathroom: Tile, Grout, Countertops, Sinks, Showers, Tubs, Toilets, Fixtures, Shower Liners, Soap Scum
  • Streak-Free: Windows, Mirrors, Glass Surfaces, Computer Screens, Phones and Tablets, Fixtures, Aquariums, Shower Doors, and Picture Frames
  • Foaming Wash: Hands, Face, Body, Baby, Hair, Pets, Removing Make-Up, Shaving, Dishes, Fruits & Vegetables
  • Misc: Laundry (192 loads), Stainless Steel, Wood, and Vinyl Floors, Carpet

 

What’s more is that all Branch Basic products are:

Branch Basics product description

 

The money you save can be put toward any number of uses, but since Eco Economics is about sustainability and increasing your financial IQ…

I would say that the highest and best use of this money is to devoted it to a tax-advantaged account that helps you achieve financial freedom!

As a result, you receive the same service (a clean home) at a fraction of the cost and impact to the Earth!

The Take Away: 

 

Yes, ideally we would love to live in a world where plastic doesn’t exist.

Especially since we now know all of the health and environmental problems that plastic causes.

Being aware of a problem is one thing, but doing something about that problem is a completely different scenario.

We may not be able to rid ourselves of plastic entirely, but we can do the following things to reduce our plastic usage:

  1. Decline single-use plastic items
  2. Buy zero-waste, biodegradable, and all-natural products
  3. Re-use the plastic bottles you already own (use an empty sriracha bottle as a squirt bottle for your all-natural cleaning solutions. You hide your cleaning solutions in a cabinet where no one sees them anyway!)

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

If global warming, climate change, and resource depletion are important to you, then pre-enroll for the free Sustainability Mini-Email Course. You will learn about other money-saving sustainability swaps and actions that you can take to save the world!

Articles that may interest you:

 

I sincerely only hope to provide helpful information. If you are curious about a specific topic or have a question about anything that I have written, please feel free to comment or contact me.

Keep in mind, it only takes 25% of a population to start a major social movement.

Become a Sustainability Hero by helping me spread the world! Please re-pin and share, so that I can continue to provide you with free content.

 

How to Save for Retirement by Going Green: Insulation

How to Save for Retirement by Going Green: Insulation

Sometimes it may seem like it is impossible to find money at the end of the month to put towards your retirement account. This is why it is critical to making the most of every dollar! Insulating your home is one of the most effective ways to decrease your energy bill by going green. Another benefit is that many energy efficiency updates qualify for tax credits and utility company rebates!

How to Save for Retirement by Going Green Insulation (1)

You can double or even triple up on your savings! Consequently, you can put all of these savings towards your tax-advantaged retirement account!

 

Save Thousands by Going Green!

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

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How Much Can You Save by Properly Insulating Your Home?

 

In short, by adding insulation to your home you can reduce heating and cooling costs anywhere from 10% to 50%.

Of course, the amount you save depends on where you live and how much insulation you already have.

For instance, a homeowner in the Northeast with an uninsulated attic can save around $600 a year by adding about 15 inches of insulation (R-38- ill go over R-values later in this article).

In fact, just 6 inches can net annual savings of around $200.

According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, by simply reducing your home’s air leakage by 25%, you can lower your annual energy costs by around $300.  

The money you save can be put toward any number of uses, but since Eco Economics is about sustainability and increasing your financial IQ…

I would say that the highest and best use of this money is to devoted it to a tax-advantaged account that helps you achieve financial freedom!

Depending on the type of materials you use, you will pay an average of $1,500 to insulate an 800-square-foot attic. If you do this, you can expect to have a payback period on your investment in three years.

You’ll spend about half that if you do the job yourself!

So if you are nifty and have a spare weekend, add it to your list of DIY projects and save a cool $800. This also means that your payback period is also cut in half!

Visit the Sustainability Shop and under the tab called Energy Efficient Home you will find many insulation products to start saving money today!

 

 

The Nonbusiness Energy Property Tax Credit:

 

As of the 2018 tax year, the federal government offers the Nonbusiness Energy Property Tax Credit. These credits are good through 2019 and then are reduced each year through the end of 2021.

This means that if you are interested in taking advantage of the biggest federal renewable energy tax credit, you will need to take action within the next year!

The Nonbusiness Energy Property Tax Credit allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. On the same tax form, there is an area that allows you to deduct a portion of the cost to increase the insulation in your home.  

The link to the tax form is included in a later portion of this article for your convenience.

If you are interested in learning how you can DIY your own solar panel system, visit Renewable Energy Tax Credit: How to Install DIY Solar Panels. You can build your own solar energy system for 60%-70% cheaper than if you were to get one installed!

The credit is equal to 30% of the cost, including installation. Moreover, there is no upper limit on the amount of the credit for solar, wind, and geothermal equipment.

The Increase Your Financial IQ Course will be released soon and will cover how to write-off solar energy improvements to your investment properties.

You can sign up for the Free Increase Your Financial IQ Mini-Email Course to get notified when the full-blown Increase Your Financial IQ Course becomes available. The mini-email course is designed to show you how easily you can save for retirement, and how to use a tax-advantaged account to reach over $1,000,000 in savings. 

To find utility company rebates offered in your zip code read, “Renewable Energy Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates“.

Equipment that Qualifies for the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit:

 

The credit includes costs to install solar, wind, geothermal and fuel-cell technology updates to your home.

  • Solar panels for generating electricity
  • Solar-powered water heaters. The water heated by the system must be used inside the home, and at least half of the home’s water-heating capacity must be solar. (Solar heaters for swimming pools and hot tubs do not qualify.)
  • Wind turbines that generate up to 100 kilowatts of electricity that must also be used in the home.
  • Geothermal heat pumps that meet federal Energy Star guidelines.
  • Fuel cells that rely on a renewable resource (usually hydrogen) to generate power for a home. The equipment must generate at least 0.5 kilowatts of power.

 

For the average person, the solar panel and wind turbine options are going to be the easiest to install, with the fewest regulations to get past.

 

 

Nonbusiness Energy Property Tax Credit:

 

Equipment and materials must meet technical efficiency standards that have been set by the Department of Energy.

Manufacturers typically advertise that their item meets this standard. In short, if a product does not advertise that it meets the standard, be sure to ask prior to purchasing.

Turbo tax does a great job explaining the two kinds of energy efficiency improvements that you can write off. I have listed them here for your convenience…

For this credit, the IRS distinguishes between two kinds of upgrades:

1. Qualified Energy Efficiency Improvements:

  • Exterior windows and skylights
  • Home insulation (Just about all types: fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool, spray foam, foam board, and cotton batting qualify for the energy tax credit)
  • Exterior doors
  • Certain roofing materials

2. Residential Energy Property Costs:

  • Electric heat pumps
  • Electric heat pump water heaters
  • Central air conditioning systems
  • Natural gas, propane or oil water heaters
  • Stoves that use biomass fuel
  • Natural gas, propane or oil furnaces
  • Natural gas, propane or oil hot water boilers
  • Advanced circulating fans for natural gas, propane or oil furnaces

 

There are a few credit restrictions, like a maximum of a $200 credit for windows. For a full list be sure to consult your tax accountant. You can review Turbo Tax’s exceptions list here.

Remember it is critically important to save your receipts and labels for Uncle Sam.

 

 

Which Tax Form to Use:

 

The form to use to claim your solar or wind credit is called The Residential Energy Credit  Form 5695, which is filed with your tax return.

On this same form, you can add any write-offs you have made to insulate your home.

For insulation updates, you can write off 10% of expenditures, up to $500 for the year. This amount is for all energy improvements combined.

 

 

R-Value:

 

The R-value measures the home’s resistance to air flow, which means less heated or cooled air escapes. The higher the number value, the better the insulating power.

The Department of Energy (DOE) recommends an R-value between 30 to 60, depending on where you live.

According to the EnergyStar website, the recommended level for most attics is to insulate to R-38 or about 10 to 14 inches, depending on insulation type.

I have inserted a photo of a map of the US and a chart with the recommended values provided by the DOE.

 

 

 

Eco Economics will be Offering Two kinds of Courses:

 

  1. The Sustainability Course: How to live a sustainable lifestyle and save money by going green.
  2. The Increase your Financial IQ Course: How to achieve financial freedom by using tax-advantaged accounts, understanding proper financial planning, and wealth creation through real estate.

 

The two courses are designed to be taken together so that one shows you how to save money, while the other shows you how to reinvest that money to help you achieve financial freedom.

 

Increase your Financial IQ

A Few of the Topics That are Covered Are:

 

  • Money-saving green swaps and actions that you can take to save our planet
  • How to maximize the energy efficiency of your home (reduce your utility bills)
  • Find the right renewable energy solution to give you energy independence (reduce or eliminate the impact of utility rate increases).
  • How to reduce your carbon output
  • How to start your own carbon sequestering organic garden
  • Much more!

 

Click on either or both of these two links to sign up for the Free Sustainability Mini-Email Course or the Free Increase your Financial IQ Course.

 

Articles that may interest you:

 

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to share!

By sharing we can help others save money by going green, all the while saving the planet together! Remember, it is our own lives and futures at stake.

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.

 

You may be Interested In:

 

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

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

 

8 ways to Reduce Global Warming by Increasing Energy Efficiency

8 ways to Reduce Global Warming by Increasing Energy Efficiency

Making your home more energy efficient reduces the use of the Earth’s non-renewable resources, helps curb pollution, allows us to breath cleaner air, and offers thousands of dollars in savings. Here are 8 ways to reduce global warming by increasing your energy efficiency.

 

8 Ways to Increasing Energy Efficiency to Prevent Climate Change

 

 

To find a full FREE Home Energy Audit Guide enter your email below.

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8 Ways to Reduce Global Warming by Increasing Your Energy Efficiency:

Insulation Socket Sealer

1. Electrical Outlet Insulation:

Your home is like a block of swiss cheese, and the goal of insulating your home is to plug as many holes (in your home’s envelope) up as possible.

There are many places that these holes exist. Start with easy and cheap insulation fixes, like electrical outlets.

 

2. Air Filters: 

Regularly replace the filters on your furnaces and air conditioners. It requires more energy to suck air through dirty air filters because particles prevent the air from easily flowing through the filters.

 

3. Thermostat: 

Turn your thermostat down at night and when you leave the house. Wear a jacket and socks indoors to save money on your heating bill.

 

4. Tankless Water Heaters:

Install an on-demand (or tankless) hot water heater. These types of hot water heaters only heat water when you need it. Click here to read an article that will show you how to find rebates on appliance and energy efficiency updates to your home.

The search is based on your zip code and the rebates will be tailored to the specific area that you live in.

 

100 watt lights

 

5. LED Light Bulbs: 

Replace light bulbs with LED lights. Learn how you can save over $5,000 by switching to LED lights. According to EnergyStar.gov, the average home has approximately 40 lightbulbs.

 

Energy star rated light bulbs

 

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! 

This photo, provided by USA Today, shows the amount you will save per light bulb for each a 60-watt bulb that you replace.

USA today LED

 

6. Low Flow Water Conservation Kit: 

Install a water conservation kit, which can be found at the Sustainability Shop. The water conservation kit is very inexpensive and includes low flow shower showerheads and faucet converters. This kit can save you up to 12,000 gallons of water per year (household of 4).Insulation Window Kit

 

7. Window Insulation:

 

The Duck Brand is a winner in the do-it-yourself insulation industry. The kit allows you to cover five 3′ x 5′ windows.

How does it work? You adhere a clear film to your window and simply use a hair dryer to shrink-wrap it to the glass’ surface.

Don’t worry, the film is completely see-through. This film helps prevent drafts and heat loss which provides a drastic increase in your home’s energy efficiency and can reduce your utility bill by hundreds of dollars per year. 

For additional energy efficiency, you can apply the film twice which will create an airtight lining over your window. 

The film is crystal clear so you can see outside, even with two layers.

The kit contains a 62″ x 210″ crystal clear film and a 1/2-inch by 84-feet (1080″) roll of double-sided tape. 

If you are not into the DIY scene, you can always go the easy route and grab these Blackout Insulation Curtains that are Insulating Black out curtains specifically manufactured to insulate your home.

These curtains block out sunlight to keep the heat out during the summer. They are thick and made from 100% polyester (Faux silk), which provides thermal insulation during the winter.

Moreover,  these curtains block out light (better sleep benefits) protect your furniture from color fading, and provide privacy. 

They are waterproof and you can either dry clean or machine wash them.

Each package comes with 1 panel, and the dimensions are 42″ W x 63″ L.

 

8. Use a Fan Instead of the A/C: 

Use a fan to circulate air in your home on hot days.  Fans are much more energy efficient than air conditioners.

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

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

The federal/state governments and even some local utility companies offer tax breaks and incentives when you upgrade your home to be more energy efficient.

To learn more about these tax credits and rebates, read my article called: Renewable Energy Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates

The article will link you to the EnergyStar website where you can look up specific rebates and energy saving programs that your utility company may offer.

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

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

By visiting the Sustainability Shop you can check out energy efficiency and water conservation conversion kits, solar products, zero-waste, and minimally packaged home goods.

 

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!

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!

 

Increase your Financial IQ

 

 

Articles that may interest you:

 

 

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to pin and share!

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

Interested in a particular topic? Comment below!

 

 

 

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!