With climate change knocking on the door, the push for going green is stronger than ever. This process includes several steps that apply to different aspects of your lifestyle. In the most general sense, going green would affect what you eat, what you drive, and how you power your home.
This is arguably the most important part of going green. Fossil fuels today still power most cars and other means of transportation, heat your home, and bring the electricity all of your devices require to run. Oil, gas, coal, and wood remain among the most popular materials used in energy production. However, they pollute the air and water, contribute to global warming, and cause the extinction of one species after another.
The good news is that there are plenty of renewable energy sources out there. Wind power is quite popular in Europe, where the climate and geography are conducive. Solar power is even better since the Sun has quite a long life ahead of it. If humanity perfects the techniques of capturing and storing the radiation the Sun emits, fossil fuels will become obsolete.
Switching from one to the other energy source means more research and development, as well as an effort into replacing the existing infrastructure. For example, one reason electric cars are not too popular right now is the lack of convenient power stations. On the other hand, drivers of regular vehicles pass by hundreds of gas stations each day.
Switching to green energy applies to the whole world and concerns roads, buildings, power plants, factories, and more. The price of the transition is quite high on a global scale. According to a report by the International Energy Agency, it could cost as much as $45 trillion.
Costs for you
Modifying your home to run on solar energy can cost as much as $30,000 on paper. However, many states offer tax cuts and incentives that would lower this amount to $12,000 or less. Plus, your bills would be smaller, so the price difference would make up for the investment costs over time. In Norway, there are specific lenders that help you make the switch to more efficient, long-term cost saving solar energy options, such as Sambla’s forbrukslån.
Additionally, expect to spend up to $2,500 on replacing your water boiler and toilets with water-saving ones.
As for switching to an electric vehicle, the price of the car is comparable to a regular one. However, the annual fuel costs are twice lower for EVs, so you would actually be saving money.
You can help the environment by making more mindful food choices too. Switching to organic products is one part of it. Fruits, veggies, and animal products certified organic are grown without the use of heavy chemicals.
Using more sustainable farming techniques is better for the environment — it’s also not as expensive as you think. A Harvard study on food found that eating healthy only costs $1.5 more per day per person.
Another important consideration here is meat consumption. The majority of the fertile land in the world is used to grow food for your food. If you switch to eating less meat (or none at all), these lands could be used to farm fruits and vegetables for humans, increasing supply and thus lowering the overall prices of food.