Should You Get an Eco Technology Loan?

Do you have an older home?  If you do, you know all of the quirks an older home can have–newspapers stuffed into walls instead of the insulation we use today, old windows that let in drafts and are not energy efficient, sloped floors and crooked doors that let air in.  You know what I’m talking about. 

If you’re house isn’t that old, you still likely could find things that you’d like to change about it to make it more energy efficient.

You may drive down the highway and see houses with solar panels and wish that you, too, could install them and begin to live a more eco-friendly life.  You know that once the panels are installed, you’ll save money, just like you know if you insulate your house better and replace drafty old windows you’ll make not only a difference in the environment, but in your wallet.

The problem is that making energy efficient changes cost money upfront that you may not have.  But there is a solution you may not have heard about: eco technology loans.

What Is an Eco Technology Loan?

Simply put, eco technology loans are ones you can get specifically to make your home more energy efficient.

How It Works

There are companies that offer loans with competitive prices so you can finance your projects to make your home more energy efficient.  Because these companies can be a peer-to-peer lenders (meaning the money comes from other individuals, not an institution), they can offer a competitive interest rate.

Often these types of loans offer the borrower the chance to pay off the loan early with no penalties.

What Countries Offer Eco Technology Loans

Many developed countries offer these types of eco technology loans.  You can simply search the Internet for “loans for solar panels” to see if your country is one of them.  You can easily find many companies in Canada, the United States and England that over these types of loans.  Some countries may also offer a rebate or a tax credit for making your home more energy efficient.

Why Get an Eco Technology Loan?

Take out a loan to make your home more energy efficient?  Is that financially responsible?  While many people may view installing solar panels or more insulation a luxury or something “extra” to do if you have the money available, the truth is, doing so can save you a great deal of money.  Replacing all the windows in your home can be very expensive and may run you $20,000 or more.

Yet, making eco friendly changes to your home can result in immediate savings.  You may be able to recoup your initial investment, depending on how large, in just four to ten years.  Then, you’ll continue to  benefit for years beyond that.

We’d say that is a worthwhile investment, even one worth financing to get it done.

3 Tips for Eating More Sustainably and Saving Money

One of the hang-ups that many people have about changing their habits to live more sustainably is that there is sometimes a financial cost. Indeed, boosting your sustainability sometimes means paying a little more up front, and this seems especially true when you are trying to eat in a way that is more sustainable and healthy.

The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to eat more sustainably. Here are 3 tips that can help you reduce the impact your food has on the environment and save money to boot:

1. Look for Community Supported Agriculture

If possible, find out if there is a community program for local farms. It might be possible to buy shares in a local farm, or buy into a program that delivers local produce right to your door, or you pick it up at a local drop-off. In some cases, you get this produce for less than you would pay at the grocery store — and you know that it comes from a local source, so it wasn’t trucked across continents to get to your dinner table.

This option also works for meat (if you can’t quite make yourself go vegetarian). Find out if there is a local source for meat. You can go in with friends or family on beef. My parents did this successfully for years, splitting the cost of a whole cow with neighbors. Everyone got beef for less per-pound, overall, than they could at the store. This works for fish, poultry and other meat products.

2. Grow Your Own Food

The ultimate way to save money while eating local is to grow food in your own backyard. We have a garden that provides us with fresh, low-cost produce all summer. And, since we use sustainable practices with our gardening, we know that we are keeping the carbon footprint relatively low. It’s also possible for us to preserve the excess for winter months. We often turn our apples into applesauce, and dry our herbs for use year-round. Many vegetables can be efficiently bottled for eating during the winter months. If you have the time and the inclination, this is a great way to save money and eat more sustainably.

3. Reduce Your Consumption of Processed Foods

Processed foods require resources to prepare, as well as to package. By reducing your consumption of processed foods, you can improve your health, help the environment, and possibly save money. You can get bulk nuts, peanut butter (fresh), dried fruits, legumes, and other items relatively inexpensively, and you don’t have to worry about the packaging and processing. You might be surprised at what you can get in bulk. My son recently learned how to make his own granola trail mix, and he loves visiting the bulk aisle for the ingredients. It costs less per ounce than buying pre-made and pre-packaged trail mix, it’s fun to make, and it doesn’t harm the environment as much.

You don’t have to pay a lot to eat healthy and reduce your food-related carbon footprint. A little extra thought, and a willingness to prepare some of your food is likely to do the trick.

What are your tips for saving money while eating sustainably?