Economic growth is at odds with preserving the environment and limiting climate change. Being green costs a lot of money. Responsible, organic and environmentally friendly products are only for the “rich”. Striving for a better climate is always at the expense of monetary prosperity. I don’t believe in this. It hurts to even type this.
Let’s take a look at things that increase prosperity while being environmentally friendly.
Doing green and growing economically at the same time, for both yourself and the government, can go together. The government is already doing a few things about this. For example, subsidies are paid if you have two or more sustainable measures supplied to your home (in the Netherlands). Because the subsidy makes it cheaper to make your home more sustainable, your return of investment is usually six to eight years. That is the same return of investment as the average index fund investment. This not only stimulates your wallet, but also creates employment.
Invest in ‘green’ investments.
If you are going to invest, you can, for example, invest in companies in sectors that deal with renewable energy. You can also look up the ESG score of a company or index (environmental, social, governance). This score indicates the extent of the impact on the environment and society and whether the company ensures that no conflict of interest is possible. With DeGiro core selection you can filter on this score. You know that you are invested in an index fund with companies that are working hard on this. In the meantime, your portfolio is widespread.
You can also take out a green mortgage or switch to a green bank. The money in your savings account and current account is also not used there for, for example, the weapon industry, the tobacco industry and the oil industry. Such a nice feeling! The best-known “green” banks in the Netherlands are Triodos and ASN bank. Here you can also invest green in index funds.
You can do a lot yourself on a small scale! This way you can buy second-hand items instead of new ones. By buying secondhand or exchanging things you ensure that things get a second life. Think about it. In fact, your house is just one step between the store and the landfill for most of the stuff in it. By buying as little as possible new, you delay the moment to the landfill as long as possible and contribute much less to the constant production of new goods. This applies to everything from clothing to furniture and toys.
Less stuff means less maintenance, less spending on your stuff and more left to go for quality. If you have five shirts instead of fourty, you can go for quality shirts that last a long time and which, for example, are made of organic cotton and where the seamstresses who make the shirts have received a decent wage. Another example is choosing a new gadget every time your telephone contract has ended. A new phone every two years is very hip but really not necessary for anything. It is good for your wallet and for the environment to last until it dies. Don’t turn shopping into a hobby, but instead go for a nice walk or picnic. You come home with less stuff and with a nice breath of fresh air and a clear mind.
There is also nothing wrong with a second-hand car. A car that is brand new and super economical is of course fantastic. But the production, transport and pollution that comes with it are not always good for the environment. For example, the pressure on raw materials such as copper and cobalt mining is very high. The innovation of new, efficient and electric cars is certainly important, but do not exchange your car until it is finished. Good for your wallet! How about carpooling to and from work. Saves a lot of gas, less traffic jams if we all do it and finding a parking spot is easier. And it is fun too. Oh and by the way, driving less is of course great. Go by bicycle or public transport more often.
By living smaller, you save space, electricity and you don’t have to heat as much in winter. You don’t have to fill space that you don’t have with things you don’t need. In addition, you do not have to clean and maintain as much. This mainly saves time but also money. I only see benefits.
Green energy company
When making the next yearly switch, pay attention to the energy company you are signing up for. Look up where the electricity comes from at the company where you want to buy your electricity. Is it green electricity or gray? Does it come from your country or are the certificates obtained from abroad? Does the energy company burn biomass? In biomass combustion, trees are cut down and shredded and then burned. This is green energy because new trees can be planted. I myself make sure that I do not buy this form of “green” energy. I think it is important that I do not support these kinds of “green” initiatives. Dutch green electricity is not at all (much) more expensive than gray electricity. Especially if you use little power or have solar panels, it does not matter in terms of costs. It does in terms of sustainability.
Plant based diet
If you are aware of your impact on the environment, you cannot ignore it than the cheap meats and the battery cage eggs. Switching to organic variants is a lot more expensive. The switch to vegetarian or vegetable is even more expensive. At least, that’s what a lot of people think. This is a big misconception! Imagine that half a kilo of organic minced meat, good for four people, quickly exceeds 5 euros. A block of tofu for four people costs about one euro. I always add an onion, some ginger, garlic and soy sauce to flavor it. This still remains well below 5 euros for four people. And a kilo of organic cheese quickly costs 15 euros. How many sandwiches with hummus with slices of tomato and cucumber can you spread with that? No less tasty with a pinch of pepper.
This tip is partly good for your wallet. It is certainly good for the environment. Create your own vegetable garden! I understand that not everyone has the time and space for this. But believe me, I really have a post stamp sized garden and you will be surprised what kind of production can be made there. It can be expensive to set up. For example, you need seeds and soil and possibly pots. The benefits for the environment are certainly there. This saves transport, packaging and pesticides if you grow your own fruit and vegetables. If you include your own labor costs it is not so profitable anymore but this hobby will teach you a lot about plants, nature and where your food comes from. Additional advantage: Your own food is much tastier anyway!
You can keep an eye on my dear diary series for updates on my vegetable garden. There is an update of the garden every month.
Do you have any more examples of things that are good for your wallet and the environment? Please share them!
Until next time!