Sustainability is often a lifestyle choice. It might mean the difference between owning two cars or owning one and using public transportation or riding a bike. Or, it could come down to choosing between a dwelling that may be more expensive but closer to work or one that may be more reasonably priced but requires a long commute.
Sure the sustainable option sometimes represents more of a sacrifice, but that isn’t always the case. In the last several years, making sustainable choices has become easier than ever.
As the sustainability movement grows, more and more companies are taking steps to become more environmentally conscious. Whenever possible, I believe putting money behind these companies is important. By voting with our dollars, so to speak, and buying products made with sustainability in mind, we’re changing the way other manufacturers do things.
Because more companies are embracing sustainability, voting with our dollars is easier than ever to do. For instance, BMW is a company that offers impressive statistics. From 2006 to 2012, BMW had a 36% efficiency improvement in production. In addition, BMW has been a Dow Jones Sustainability Index Leader for 8 consecutive years.
You can vote with your dollars and buy a vehicle like a BMW and by doing so, you’re telling other car companies that you prefer car manufacturers who are environmentally conscious. If enough of us do this, other car manufacturers will begin to understand that environmental issues are important to their customers.
The power of our dollars works in all aspects of our consumer culture. If more and more people stop looking for the cheapest price and instead look to support the most sustainable companies, other companies will change, and quickly.
Of course, the majority of us don’t have an endless supply of money, so economics does play a role in our decision making. Yet often by reducing waste and excess, finding money to pay for products that were made in a more sustainable way becomes easier. In addition, if you’re committed to supporting the environment, you may be willing to sacrifice in other areas of your life to have the extra money to vote with your dollars.
Living a fully sustainable life does require some sacrifice. However, as more and more companies become more environmentally responsible, we all benefit, especially if we can support the companies with our purchases.