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Can going green make you rich? Absolutely. Increasing your savings, by reducing your consumption, could turn you into a millionaire in 20 years. Here are 10 green ways you can save $1 Million and the planet.
1. Bottled Water – Stop wasting money and the environment drinking bottled water. Buy a filter, water container, and fill it up before you leave the house. Monthly Savings $40 After 20 Years $26,500
2. Brew Your Own Coffee – No more cardboard cups and plastic lids. Get a thermos and Brew your own coffee at home and at work. Monthly Savings $50 After 20 Years $33,500
3. DIY Dry Cleaning – Expensive and toxic, conventional dry cleaning uses perchloroethylene (PERC), a chemical known to cause cancer in rats. Launder and iron your shirts and blouses. $50 / $33,500
4. Use a “Dumb” Cell Phone – Do you have to be connected to the internet in between home and work? Smart phones cost more, and require more CO2 producing servers, to handle the extra bandwidth required for accessing the internet. $50 / $33,500
5. Walk Away From the Gym – Health clubs are anything but healthy for you and the environment. Requiring constant heating and cooling, and filled with germs and bacteria, walk half an hour a day in fresh air instead. $60 / $40,000
6. Pack-A-Lunch – Fast food lunches are not only generally unhealthy, they also produce a lot of waste, and can be very expensive over time. Make and pack your own lunch before you go to work. $100 / $67,500
7. Mini-Storage – Have a garage sale and get rid of your mini-storage unit. $150 / $100,000
8. Grass Lawn – The scourge of suburbia, grass lawns consume precious water, require harmful chemicals, gas powered mowers, and lots of money to maintain. Convert your grass lawn to it’s native habitat, or use it to grow organic fruits and vegetables, and you will save money and the environment. $150 / $100,000
9. Get Rid of One Car – Are you a two car couple or a three car family? If you can get rid of one of your cars, you can save a lot of money, while reducing air pollution and global warming. $400 / $268,000
10. Cheaper Housing – Do you you really need an extra room in your home to use as an “office” or guest room for guests who visit one week a year? If you can downsize your home by one room, you can reduce your carbon footprint, and the amount you spend on rent or a mortgage. Monthly Savings $500 After 20 Years $335,000
Total Monthly Savings = $1,500
Savings After 20 Years = $1,000,000
The amounts calculated are based, on an historical average annual return of 9%, using an asset allocation model of 70% S&P 500 and 30% U.S. Treasury Bonds.
As an added bonus, reducing your consumption by $1,500 per month, reduces the amount of savings you need to retire by $450,000. So, not only does going green make you rich, going green also helps you retire early.