When you’re neck deep in debt, you tend to consider the green in your pocket more important than a green lifestyle. And unfortunately, green living can create enough cost and inconvenience to make even the most environmentally aware individual lose touch once debt becomes a personal problem. However, advancing technologies are making green living cheaper and more cost efficient every day. For example, think of one of the most popular green technologies: solar power. Within most readers’ lifetime, we’ve seen the technology develop from a pipe dream to a viable yet cost inefficient alternative, and yet still to the practical and relatively inexpensive source of power that so many of us use today.
For those who think that green living can only happen with financial prosperity, read on to learn about how the unending march of technological progress will make a green living easier for those in tough economic times.
Redefining the Budget Vehicle
For years, hybrid and electric vehicles have solely been the property of the financial elite. Of course, the 2010’s saw a huge market develop for inexpensive hybrids from industrial juggernauts such as Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen. Despite a wounded economy, hybrid vehicles saw enormous interest from middle and lower-middle income households due to the promise of money saved at the pump. Tesla aims to revolutionize this selling point with their entirely electric vehicles.
While there has been glowing praise about their performance in general, Tesla has been making headlines mostly due to their environmental friendliness. However, with their cheapest model running at $70,000, it might be easy to think they Tesla is only interested in reserving these benefits yet again to the financial elite.
However, by licensing some of their technology with Daimler and Toyota, as well as making their patents public, they’re arguably doing more than any other producer to make the industry green. Most importantly, they intend on releasing a budget model by 2017, which will cost only slightly more than the average vehicle and while retaining the all-electric promise of no more spending at the pump.
Finding a New Way to Keep Cool
Traditional HVAC systems are far from green. From harmful emissions and inefficiency causes many homeowners to switch out their systems of yesteryear, and drives many households to avoid using their systems altogether to save money or preserve the environment. For the past century, HVAC has been an industry of compromises and consumer waste. But with newer technologies working with nature rather than opposed to it, we’re starting to see this paradigm get turned on its head.
These three forms of technology are just a few examples that increasing numbers of homeowners are converting to. While they might come with larger initial costs, their lifespan and efficiency quickly pay for themselves when compared with their outdated ancestors. Geothermal heat pumps take the heat straight form the earth and heat homes at up to 72% less consumption of electricity than older air conditioners.
Chilled beams are also another popular technology in industrial environments, where pipes carry water through the ceilings of a building in order to chill the air. This not only is far more efficient on energy costs, but it also reduces the carbon footprint necessary to construct ductwork since they aren’t necessary for this system.
And of course, to come full circle, advances in solar power continue to be a cornerstone of green living. They’re cheaper to maintain and yield better results today than ever before, and we’ll continue to see this technology become refined and more widespread in use. There may not be much else exciting to say about it, but if the shoe fits…
What do you think will change green living in the future for those with financial concerns?
Written by Frank McCourt, an author on debt consolidation services and related financial issues