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How Does Spending Money Impact the Environment?



Most people don’t give a second thought about how their spending habits impact the environment. From getting groceries delivered in a gas-powered car to buying things in excess plastic packaging, the money spent all has some impact on the environment.

Manufacturing Factories Add a Lot of Pollution

Factories add greenhouse gasses to the environment as they make and produce things. They use energy to keep the lights on, to create products, and can potentially create waste from unused materials. Factories are one of the biggest sources of pollution in our environment. These buildings produce many things that we use every day, such as cars, furniture, and electronics. Factories also use a lot of energy to heat and cool their buildings. This can create more greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. This entire process sends out a lot of toxins into the environment. If they pollute the water, this can impact entire ecosystems – not to mention all the emissions getting sent into the air.

What Causes the Most Pollution?

The biggest contributors to pollution are cars, trucks, and factories. Cars and trucks release toxic gases that can harm people’s health. Factories emit greenhouse gasses that cause climate change. Climate change has a big impact on the environment because it causes extreme weather events like droughts and floods, which can damage farms or make them less productive. Trucks that drive across the country to deliver goods add to the environmental impact of spending money.

Your Debit Card Impacts the Environment

The banking systems behind your money also impact the environment. Each time you use it, you not only contribute to having an impact on the local environment, but you also contribute to whatever the bank behind your card contributes to. In many cases, these banks invest in oil and gas projects which have a significant and negative impact on ecosystems. Using a green debit card instead can help you ensure that all your money and your purchases go to support more environmentally friendly initiatives.

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Your Spending Creates More Waste in Packaging and Shipping Materials

Whenever you buy something, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Buying locally often means there is less packaging waste. Think about it. Your product comes to the store on a pallet, in boxes, wrapped in plastic. Then the product itself has any combination of paper, plastic, or metal, which will all be thrown away after you open your goods. Each time you spend and buy from the store, this is only part of the environmental impact that your purchase creates. Even shipping goods to your home creates a lot of waste.

The Store Uses Energy

Stores use energy in many ways. They power lights, heating and cooling, and even Wi-Fi systems. They transport goods, make products, create advertising for those products, and of course, they sell items. Additionally, employees get to work using gas-powered vehicles. While many stores are implementing systems designed to offset this environmental impact, it doesn’t negate the fact that it takes energy to keep a store running. Some ways that stores use less energy include motion-sensor lights and using solar panels.

Storage Warehouses Use Energy

Another way that spending affects the environment is through the storage of materials. Warehouses use a lot of energy. They use electricity for lighting and heating, gas for heating and cooling, and diesel for trucks. The warehouse owner can find ways to reduce their energy usage, insulate their building better, and buy fewer items from overseas suppliers. All of these methods can significantly reduce the amount of energy the warehouse uses.

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A warehouse can switch to LED light bulbs, which use less power than fluorescent lights. They can also install motion sensors so that lights only turn on when someone is in the area needing light. When they insulate the buildings better, they don’t lose as much heat or air conditioning through cracks in the walls or ceiling, and buying more things locally means that they will not only help improve the local economy but that fewer gallons go into the transport of the items.


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