How to Save Money as an Eco-Conscious Consumer
Updated: May 20
If you find yourself increasingly concerned about environmental issues, you aren't alone. In general, people are becoming more eco-conscious and it's even impacting how they do their shopping. Research shows that people are more interested in environmentally friendly companies than they were in the past, and are happy to support brands and products that help the earth instead of hurting it. You might assume that buying only eco-friendly products will stress your budget, but the opposite is true. Read on to discover how you can save money while shopping responsibly across a range of product areas.
Look for promos when shopping for shoes, clothing, or accessories
While it might seem counterintuitive, when trying to save on shoes, clothing, or accessories, it’s best to spend more on high-quality items. Cheap goods are made from poor-quality materials and aren’t manufactured as well. Take shoes, for instance: A well-made boot of real leather can last you for years if you care for it properly, while synthetic fake leather is far less durable and will require replacing after a year or two.
When you invest in good quality items, you won’t have to replace them as frequently. This is also a pro in terms of the environment: You won’t have to send a pair of worn-out shoes to the landfill every year. Look for promotions to save on higher-quality clothing, shoes, and accessories. Websites like Rakuten offer a roundup of discounts from designer brands and suppliers, so you can be sure you’re getting top quality when shopping.
Count on rebate offers and tax credits when investing in appliances and electronics
Appliances like your washing machine, dishwasher, and heating and cooling system are some of the biggest investments you make in your home. Opting for eco-friendly appliances will make your investment worthwhile. An eco-friendly dishwasher will use less water, for instance, which also cuts down your utility bills. Check dishwasher energy ratings and also look for water-saving features like automatic load recognition technology, which adjusts water and electricity usage based on how much is actually in the machine.
You can save money—while doing some environmental good—on eco-friendly appliances by using rebates. ENERGY STAR qualified air conditioning systems or heat pumps can score you a rebate of anywhere from $300 to $500, for example. Note that when you make your home more energy-efficient by installing such devices, you may also qualify for certain tax credits. If you qualify, use IRS Form 5695 to claim a Residential Renewable Energy tax credit or Nonbusiness Energy Property tax credit.
Rely on e-commerce sites for cash back on other products
When it comes to other goods, from sporting supplies to homewares, look to the internet to provide eco-friendly goods at affordable prices. E-commerce retailers like Rakuten cover an array of products. Buy what you need and you can get cash back for your next purchase. Shop in bulk to cut down on the frequency of deliveries and reduce your carbon footprint—you may also be able to nix delivery fees.
In some instances, you can also opt out of free returns and score a lower price. Manufacturers usually factor in an extra cost for possible returns, so opting out saves you money. This is perfect for items you know you definitely won't send back, like toothpaste or toilet paper.
Follow these tips for eco-friendly but affordable shopping and you won’t just be helping your wallet—you’ll also feel good. It’s been shown that people who engage in environmentally conscious activities actually have a positive self-image as a result: They feel good while doing good. With the above guidelines, you can also benefit from this emotional boost.