Why Cutting Your Costs Is Good For More Than Just Your Wallet

Benefits of reducing your spending

While it is nice to see the monetary benefits of cutting costs, money is not the only factor to consider when reducing your spending. Eliminating some everyday expenses can benefit your health, the environment, your future, and the economy.

For one, people who use public transportation are helping to reduce congestion. The latest research reveals that in 2011, U.S. modes of public transportation saved 865 million hours in travel time, and 450 million gallons of fuel in 498 in urban areas. People who use public transportation are supporting a system of more efficient travel. Public transportation reduces gasoline consumption and our carbon footprint. With more people using public transportation systems, we can work toward correcting our nation’s economic, energy, and environmental challenges.

The European Way:  Europeans encourage biking by making driving inconvenient. Did you know that gas costs in Europe are $8.00/gallon???

The European Way:  Europeans encourage biking by making driving inconvenient. Did you know that gas costs in Europe are $8.00/gallon???

Secondly, reducing our spending can help save us! After tobacco, diseases related to inactivity are the next biggest killer in the U.S. It turns out that cutting our gasoline costs, and picking up a bicycle instead of getting in the vehicle, can help to solve this problem! Did you know that in the first year of biking to work, the average person will lose up to 13 pounds? That is huge, and the cardiovascular benefits are even better! 

But the best part is, that bikes beat cars in time, space, and money! Up to 20 bikes can be parked in the same spot as one car. An MIT study in Lyon, France found that bikes are faster than cars during rush hour. And adding 30 minutes of everyday cycling saves us each about $500 in medical costs per year! (Not to mention bikes/bike maintenance are way cheaper than vehicles/vehicle maintenance). 

Lastly, cutting our electricity consumption, and coming up with more efficient energy use can benefit the economy and the environment. Electronically supported communication systems are huge parts of our personal and economic lives. We depend on electricity at home and at work to keep our systems operating, to run our appliances, light our spaces, charge our computers and cell phones, etc. However, the electric industry produces more pollution than any other single industry in the U.S. Recent data (from 2002) shows that electricity is responsible for: 

63% of sulfur dioxide emissions that contribute to acid rain

22% of NOx emissions that contribute to urban smog

39% of carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change

33% of mercury emissions that pose significant health risks

By reducing our energy consumption, we reduce the demand for fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. Nowadays, you can almost always find an energy efficient alternative for every kind of appliance or light fixture. There are several other steps you can take to make energy-smart choices, like weatherizing your home or apartment, updating your windows, insulating your walls and ceilings, not overheating or overcooling rooms, using low-flow shower heads, and many more! 

Be smart, reduce your spending, and make a difference for our environment, economy, and health!

Mallory

Sources:

http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/ptbenefits/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/13/bike-to-work-infographic-benefits-health_n_1145815.html

http://powerscorecard.org/reduce_energy.cfm

 

Fresh & Fit Friday: Gardening 101

Fresh & Fit Friday:  Gardening 101

“Gardening can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you want it to be,” said Jonathan from the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension. With gardening, costs can vary, all depending on how much you are willing to put into the garden. There is the potential to save a lot of money, especially if you are a big vegetable buyer. Gardening can also be a great outdoor hobby.  It is a reminder of where our food comes from and how we are connected to our food. It is also a good way to get exercise and sunlight!

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