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Tackling the Barriers to Being Green: Money

Earth911’s Quick Vote poll asked readers to complete this statement: “The one thing holding me back from being more green is…”
Not at all surprising, 378 of the 1,070 responses listed “money,” as their No. 1 barrier to being more green. Individuals and families living on tight budgets may not have the option of reaching for that Fair Trade coffee bean package or the pure organic produce. Although being a green consumer requires money, being a green citizen does not.
Green Citizens vs. Green Consumers
A green consumer commits to purchasing environmentally friendly products and services while a green citizen actually lives an eco-conscious life. But it is possible to get the best of both worlds. You can be a green citizen by committing to a sustainable lifestyle, incorporating green purchases and modifications without going into a life-long debt.
Don’t believe us?

We spoke to some experts to explore the options available to consumers and citizens facing financial obstacles. They advised us on how green consumers can determine the costs of implementing eco-friendly lifestyle changes in order to save money in the long run. They also suggested choices green citizens can make to maximize their impact of their actions.
“The idea that you need to spend a lot of money to go green is a misconception,” says Green Architect, Eric Corey Freed. “This is because Green buildings are always perceived as more expensive.”
As evidence, Freed cites a USGBC study that found green buildings cost an average of $4 per square foot more than buildings that don’t have the same environmental standards. However, green buildings save 63 cents per square foot in electricity cost. This means that over the architectural lifetime of a building, a green consumer will save $67 per square foot by living in a building designed with green standards.