A first-of-its-kind calculator has been developed by financial experts to compare how much an environmentally friendly lifestyle costs to the alternative.
The Sustainable Living Calculator takes into consideration the type of food you buy, whether you shop with bags for life, if you use reusable drinks cups, the type of energy your house uses and how you travel.
It then calculates what impact on the environment, and your wallet, living greener would have.
How much does going green cost a family of four?
A family of four which ‘goes green’ on their grocery shop ends up paying around £5,915 per year based on 20 everyday household items.
This is almost £2,000 – or 87 per cent – more than a non-organic supermarket alternative.
Is it worth the extra pounds?
The Sustainable Living Calculator was developed by money.co.uk, which surveyed 2,000 Brits to find that 43 per cent of adults are happy to spend more on eco-friendly choices if it lessens their impact on the environment.
Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said: “There are certainly more pros than cons when buying green.
“As with all things you should always budget for your outgoings and on occasion you might be spending a little more money to be more sustainable, but the overall impact you can have by making small changes is surely worth it.
“By avoiding products wrapped in plastic, eating seasonally, and avoiding items or travel that has a large carbon footprint, consumers can really have a positive impact on our planet’s future.”
Don’t forget about your holidays.
The Sustainable Living Calculator also looked at other expenses such as energy and holidays.
Matthew Agarwala, environmental economist at the Bennett Institute of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge who helped develop the calculator, said: “I have a lot of sympathy for consumers who want to do the right thing but just don’t know how their shopping choices affect the environment.
“That’s why tools like these can be so useful when they are backed by sound scientific evidence.
“Sometimes what looks like a quick and easy bargain today often comes at someone else’s expense because it imposes much bigger costs – environmental, social, health – on others. For instance, ‘cheap food’ is a myth. Whether it’s the consumer, the planet, or the farmer, someone always pays.
“But there’s loads of reasons to be optimistic. It is so encouraging to see Britons taking the environment seriously.”