By far the fastest way to motivate someone to purchase or invest in a sustainability program is show them how much money they will save by making a change. For many people today, sustainability has provided a way to save money without being called cheap. This is a gift for all of us committed to sustainability and really okay. More and more people are going to buy into sustainability when they see the results and soon they will be more willing to spend to be sustainable. Until then, promoting the savings is going to get us closer to where we want to be. Here are 10 of the best ways sustainability saves you money:
- Purchase water saving products to save money. The cost of water is increasing rapidly all over the United States and the increase is set to continue. Purchasing water saving products is always a smart sustainable investment.
- Swap out your old toilet. The mid-century masterpiece home is making a huge comeback right now. Unfortunately many of these homes have the mid century toilet that use three times the water modern toilets use. Many water agencies offer rebates to upgrade to an efficient toilet. This is an upgrade that will save a significant amount of money over the years.
- Convert your traditional spray irrigation system to a drip irrigation system. The water savings are substantial and the money saved from the water reduction will pay for itself in a couple of years.
- Swap out your shower head. When you change out your shower head you save money on water and you also reduce energy use because you are heating less hot water, this is a double savings! The EPA has a list of water-efficient shower heads and you can find it here.
- Purchase a smart controller for your landscape. If a traditional irrigation controller is adjusted four times a year it’s considered good. Smart irrigation controllers determine the need to make adjustments to your schedule daily. As a result the water and money savings are very high. I have seen some situations where smart controllers saved enough money to pay for themselves in just a few months. In addition, your plants will live longer, look better and your property value will increase.
- Consider swapping out your old urinals at your business. According to the EPA, if we swap out all the old urinals in the United States we could save 36 billion gallons annually.
- Use compost in your gardens to save water. Compost increases the water holding capacity of your soil. It keeps the water in the root zone longer allowing your plants to use the water for a longer period of time.
- Plant trees around your home or office. Shade trees can greatly reduce energy costs in the summer. The shade they provide greatly decreases the temperature in and around your home or office. In the winter well-placed evergreens block wind and reduce heating costs by as much as 50%. Factor the increase into the overall value of your property due to the aesthetic appeal of trees and you have a winning solution that can start right away.
- Target 30 miles per gallon for the vehicle you drive and the vehicles you have for work. For all the gear heads out there, make it a challenge to find a high performance car that gets good mileage. It is surprising to see how many are out there. Better yet think about what you can do with the thousands of dollars you save annually on gas.
- Plan your driving to be efficient. There are a few landscape contractors who take time to plan their maintenance routes taking advantage of traffic patterns and locations. They save fuel and time. As a result they save money on gas and increase the number of properties a crew can service in a day. This is another double savings.
If you have a few ideas of your own on how sustainability saves you money we would love to hear them in the comments sections. We are always interested to learn from others.