Being green is not only good for the planet but your wallet as well. That’s the premise behind Shift Your Habit: Easy Ways to Save Money, Simplify Your Life, and Save the Planet by Elizabeth Rogers. She describes green changes that will decrease your carbon footprint and lists the dollar amount each one will potentially save you.
Like many people, Rogers thought it was expensive to go green. Then she realized she was wrong and decided to write a guide to help people identify how to save money by being eco-friendly. She writes:
In my own experience, I’ve noticed that becoming greener has made my life richer and healthier, and, paradoxically, less expensive. This was a revelation. Like most people, I thought going green would put a serious strain on my finances. But I found, in reality, there’s no need to compromise ecological principles in order to save cash. And, perhaps surprisingly, you don’t need to give up comfort, convenience, or style in order to tread more lightly on the earth.
The biggest money-savings are for people who own their own homes. Changes like lowering the thermostat setting on your water heater from 140 degrees F to 120 degrees F can save up to $70 per year for an electric water heater, and up to $40 or more per year for a gas water heater. As an apartment dweller, my utility bill is included in my rent so I won’t see any savings for changing to energy-efficient ways. Everyone can save up to $200 per year if they replace standard household cleaning products with home remedies.
Shift Your Habit is more like a guide that can easily be skimmed to find specific information rather than a long drawn sermon that preaches about the benefits of green living. The book is laid out in an easy-to-read format as each chapter has a theme, tables, and charts for quick access and understanding. One cool chart is titled Vintage Baby and lists price comparisons on new and used “must-have” baby furniture.
One of my favorite features in the book is titled Swift Shifts. These are stories about families and individuals who have made changes in their daily lives and have noticed a difference in their checkbook. The testimonials are written in the first person and really help drive home the fact that anyone can afford to be an environmentalist.
The book is packed with practical tips that long-time environmentalist may know, but I had a couple “aha” moments when I asked myself why I hadn’t thought of the change before. If you have an aquarium, instead of pouring the old water down the drain, it can be used to feed your plants because it contains high levels of nitrogen and other nutrients that help plants grow. This adds up to a $15 per year savings on fertilizer costs.
If you would like to win my review copy of Shift Your Habit: Easy Ways to Save Money, Simplify Your Life, and Save the Planet, leave a comment by Friday, July 16 at 9 a.m. explaining your reason for going green. If you can’t wait, purchase it on for $10.08.