One of the biggest issues regarding sustainable behavior is the cost that is associated with them. Since sustainable technologies and mindsets are relatively new, there is a greater cost is production, and therefore a higher cost for consumers. As these new technologies become more widely adopted and accepted, the price will go down.
But it turns out that there are sustainable steps you can take today that will actually be cheaper in the long run. Many of them involve paying more up front, which understandably can be a barrier for some, but ultimately, that's a one-time cost rather than having to pay for the same items again and again. Here they are:
1. Paper towels have to go
Paper towels might be one of the best clean-up tools around, but that doesn't change the fact that they end up in the trash after a single use. Paper towels are a huge contributor of deforestation, and the less of them we can use, the better. Instead, try using kitchen towels or rags. These achieve the same result, yet they can be easily washed and reused. And if you're worried about running out of them, an old t-shirt can easily be cut up and repurposed into a kitchen rag.
2. Unplug your unused electronics
Believe it or not, even when you're not using electric appliances (toaster, microwave, phone chargers, etc.), they still have electricity running through them, leading to higher electric bills, and increased CO2 emissions. A recent study on phys.org reveals that many people overestimate how much CO2 is emitted by leaving things plugged in. Although underestimated, CO2 is still being emitted, and electricity is still coursing through them, so in order to save money, energy, and curb CO2 emissions, unplug your electronics when not in use.
3. Buy a reusable water bottle
I'm about 99.999999% sure that everybody reading this has heard this one before, but as someone who has lived in college dorms, I have seen firsthand the number of cases of water that college students go through. Sure, $3 to $5 for a 24-pack of water bottles is great when compared to a $15 to $50 reusable water bottle. You can even argue that plastic water bottles can be reused, but that doesn't change the fact that many of them aren't, and they are all filled with microplastics. And when you live with a few other people, that 24-pack doesn't last long, and that $3 to $5 will start to add up. Save yourself some money, bite the bullet, and buy the pricier water bottle. Your wallet, and the planet will thank you.
4. Invest in/ build a/ learn how to garden
We've been covering a lot of garden-related topics recently, and gardening is probably one of the biggest sustainability bangs for your bucks. Not only can it save you some money on your groceries, but gardens also help prevent water runoff and reduce the amount of waste that goes towards landfills. Although it may seem like a small effort
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