My dining room:
Craigslist antique furniture find - 1910 Mission-style dining set made of quarter-sawn oak - a table, 8 chairs, 4 leaves, custom made cabinet for leaf storage, buffet and mirror for $2300.
Planet savings: Buying used helps to control use of forested trees, toxic chemicals and factory waste and trucking carbon emissions. Buying locally put my $2300 right back into the hands of a family less than 30 minutes from my home.
Wallet savings: A comparable set of the same quality new would have cost around $11,000. Of course we have a few dings and scuffs and the chair seats should be recovered. So, I really only estimate my savings to average around $6000. However, with that savings I can contribute to all four of my boy's college funds for an entire year.
Setting the table:
We've nixed paper plates, disposable utensils and paper cups.
Planet savings: It's proven that an energy star rated dishwasher only run when full saves 25% more energy than the standard dishwasher. You save even more by choosing the no-heat dry cycle. One set of good quality stoneware and utensils will last for years. (Unless you have - ahem - boys with the dropsies!) All of the paper plates, utensils and cups saved from the landfill for a family of six is potentially staggering.
Wallet savings: When we used to buy paper plates I could easily use a $10.50 package of Dixie plates from Costco every two weeks - roughly the same for paper cups. A total monthly cost of $30-40. Factor in a slight increase in dishwasher usage and I approximate a monthly savings of $25. That sounds little today, but when you add it up over a year I am saving $300. One car payment. The January gas bill. Two nights of hotel stay on vacation. That's worth it!
Green changes are great for the planet, but when you add up the savings, it really is great for your wallet.
2 weeks ago