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Many think a green lifestyle is too expensive

Often perceived to be expensive, living an eco-friendly lifestyle can actually save you money and save the environment.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 22, 2014 1:18PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News. 

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyMany Americans believe that living an eco-friendly lifestyle costs too much "green."

That's the finding of a new survey by digital coupon website RetailMeNot and The Omnibus Co. released just in time for Earth Day.

Factory air pollution © Chris Knorr/Design Pics/Corbis

The survey found that less than half -- 44 percent -- of Americans would describe their lifestyle as completely green.

Nearly half of the survey participants said the biggest reason for not living an entirely eco-friendly existence is because it's too expensive.

And 7 in 10 people said they only purchase eco-friendly products if the cost is the same or lower than non-green.

Trae Bodge, senior editor of The Real Deal blog, says that despite many people's perception that living green is spendy, it can actually save you money. Bodge compiled 11 ways to go green and save.

Here are our five favorite tips. They're both easy and Earth-friendly:

  1. Bag it. Follow a "BYOB" policy, where you bring your own bag(s) or reusable totes when you shop. Many stores, including Target, Whole Foods and other grocery stores, offer a small discount if you use your own bags to haul your items.
  2. Make sure it's full. Don't run your dishwasher (or washing machine) unless it's completely full. "According to the EPA, running only full loads will save the earth 100 pounds of carbon dioxide and save you $40 a year, plus you'll avoid that horrible feeling that you're always unloading the dishes," Bodge said.
  3. Let the light shine. Trade just a handful of incandescent light bulbs for Energy Star-certified compact fluorescent bulbs. "You'll use at least 75 percent less energy and save about $70 a year on your electric bill, or up to $135 per bulb over its lifespan," Bodge said.
  4. Erratic driving. Slamming on the gas or brakes and speeding are bad for gas mileage. says you can improve your gas mileage by up to 33 percent with smoother driving. Make sure your tires are inflated correctly -- that can save you 3 percent in gas mileage.
  5. Put that plastic bottle down. On average, Americans drink 30.8 gallons of bottled water annually, Bodge said. Rather than filling up landfills with plastic bottles, purchase a reusable bottle and fill it with tap water.

I already follow Tip 2 (I'm happy it's eco-friendly, but I do it because I HATE unloading the dishwasher), Tip 3 and Tip 5. I have a bunch of cool, reusable bags for groceries, so Tip 1 should be checked off for me too. But I frequently forget to bring them to the store with me.

Bodge's tips for being green really are easy and they won't break the bank. It's a win-win.

Happy Earth Day.

Do you live a green lifestyle?

More from Money Talks News

Apr 22, 2014 2:52PM
So what does the article pic of the corporate/industrial smoke stacks bellowing out smoke have to do with an INDIVIDUAL'S decision whether or not to "live green"??????? Shouldn't there be a pic of vegetable garden or something along those lines??????
Apr 22, 2014 6:01PM
Maybe if idiots on their cell phones, and drivers going under the speed limit in the left hand lane while constantly breaking weren't on the road, I would be able to drive much more efficiently.... as for me, I speed up, go around them, and get the hell away from them.
Apr 22, 2014 6:40PM
I have always followed this lifestyle, but I called it a "thrifty" lifestyle, and thought it was plain common sense.  I guess with all of the political correctness going on, it has been redefined as "green"
Apr 22, 2014 4:54PM

Question, what do you do about the stores that have you buy their reusable bags, and then when you bring them in you must leave them at the customer service desk, as you would be considered a shoplifter if you do not leave them there till you have checked out and already bagged you stuff?

As to number 2: I do my best to make sure that I only run the dishwasher when it is full, but what about people that may not have enough plates, and flatware to use if they don't run it when it is half to three quarters full?

For Number 3:  And how many of the Energy Star-certified compact fluorescent bulbs, will be recycled, and not just tossed in the garbage? If they are tossed in the garbage they then spread mercury into the environment.

As to Number 4: Am I then supposed to ram the car ahead of me that cut me off since I left enough space for a nice slow braking, and then slammed its brakes on?

For Number 5: I keep a pitcher of water in the fridge so that I have cold water at need without the bottles.

Apr 22, 2014 6:26PM
CFL bulbs are not "earth friendly"; not by a long shot. They may use less energy than incandescent bulbs, but they contain highly toxic mercury. Spend a bit more and buy LED lights. 

Forgetting to BYOB is totally lame. I never forget. How do I do it? Easy...I keep 4 reusable bags in my vehicle. When I shop I take them inside the store with me. When I unpack at home I return the bags to the vehicle. 

During warmer months you can dry your clothes outside, rather than using the clothes dryer. Your clothes will last longer and smell better. 
Organic = An excuse to charge three times what the tomatoes are worth.
Apr 22, 2014 7:14PM

The best one is "BYOB". The store I shop at has this policy.

I always have the cashier wash the counter when I'm behind these people before putting my food on the counter. The reason is simple. These bags are not washed. I have witnessed cat fur/feces, mold and so on clinging to these bags.

Apr 22, 2014 10:25PM
"Many think a green lifestyle is too expensive"

Well wait until they get the Bill for Cleanup because of so many humans contributing to Generation after Generation of absolute Waste and Pollution. Humans are so shortsighted and the price to be paid will be far Worse then any Stock Market Meltdown.

The world's rapidly running out of clean water and we are blowing thru what's left of The Ogallala Aquifer located in the midwestern United States. About 1.7 billion people Worldwide rely on aquifers that are rapidly being depleted. We have the Nuclear Plant in Japan dumping Toxic Radioactive waste into endless amounts of Water mere feet from our Oceans.

So as we see the writing on the Wall, one of the Driest places on Earth, Vegas is still using the Most Water, and that's basically Just for entertainment. Humans collective have to been the Dumbest creatures ever on Earth. One day our Kids will look back and curse every Generation before them that allowed this BS this Happened. We will extinct ourselves and far sooner then most could expect.

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