Thursday, May 03, 2007

Saving Money and the Environment

Ok, I'll admit it. I'm a bit of eco-nut under all this talk of personal finance. I like to save money, but if I can save the world too, better yet! In fairness to you the reader I do try to keep those posts that edge on the environment some what tied to personal finance.

Well a few weeks back I came across this blog called No Impact Man and from the environmental side it was a great read. The idea of the blog is simple, can a family live in the middle of New York city with no net impact to the environment for one full year. My only problem about sharing this blog was the fact he never talked about his finances. So at last the blogger finally made a post to this regard, which you can read here.

Granted his methods are a bit extreme (like not using toilet paper) but it got me thinking. Beyond the entire save the world thing is there a significant economic benefit to living a green lifestyle. So far in my life and that of the No Impact Blog I would have to say YES. By reducing your ecological footprint you also reduce your economic footprint. Granted it going green often takes some investments to get going (like a low flow shower head or compact fluorescent light bulb), but in the long haul you also can live with less money which also allows you to retire earlier since you need a reduced cash flow.

So with this in mind and my tax return in my ING account I'm going to go shopping to reduce my water bill. I've got some old 13L/flush toilets I have to replace anyways and some old taps in the sinks which are just starting to leak a bit. I'm currently spending $50/month on water and I'm curious with a few changes how far I can get it to drop. I'm going to try and keep track of my the cost differences to go green and the amount of money I save and let you know how the economics all turn out. This should be interesting.

7 comments: said...

I like this topic. Lately, we've been getting more on the green side of things. I guess it's the engineer side of me, but i've been really interested in smaller scale windmills to generate some household power. :)


Middle Class Millionaire said...

Just a comment about low flush toilets. I've talked to a couple guys who recently purchased houses with low flush toilets and they have both removed them because they would clog unless you gave them a "courtesy flush".

Just something to consider when deciding to go green... and something even stranger to consider is I'm actually interested to hear about how your new toilets function.


FinanciallyMotivated said...


For your Ontario readers - there are some coupons available for printing that will save you money on energy saving devices for your home. It's part of the "Every Kilowatt Counts Campaign".

The coupons are good until June 17th.

I wrote a small post about it over at if you are interested.

Take care

the money diva said...

I have two low flush toilets in my house and no courtesy flush problems. Unfortunately, I did not have baseline data to compare water usage/cost so I can't comment on that. I have also invested in a front-loading washer/dryer pair and I'm starting to replace regular bulbs with compact flourescent as they die. I believe that good stewardship works the same way for money and the environment - and pays off for both!
MD :)

Mike said...

We have Australian Caroma toilets - they are the ones with 2 buttons on the top. They something similar in Europe. I think they are better designed for low flush than the North American ones.

I think they cost $350 each and we got them from Home Hardware.

Middle Class Millionaire said...

2 button flushes, 1 high, 1 low.

Now that's a great idea!

Canadian Dream said...

Well I never thought replacing my toilets would be a popular topic, but I suppose you never know.

FT - Windmills work alright, but check which range of wind they can work under. High winds don't work that well if my memory is correct.

MCM & Mike - I was looking at a dual flush toilet from Rona. The small flush is 4.1 L for yellow, while the 6 L is for larger items. I'll let you know how it turns out when I get them installed (likely in the next month).

MD - I already have CFL's everywhere in the house and front load washer/dryer and low flow shower heads. I still need to replace the aerators in the bathroom sinks to cut back that flow as well.

FM - Thanks for the link.