Is Sustainable Living Expensive?

These days, more and more people are coming around to the idea of sustainable living. They see the consequences of their daily lives on the environment and are becoming convinced to change their lifestyle to help the environment more. The economy, as well as the environment and society, is one of the key parts of sustainability. However, it is the economic issue of sustainability that causes fear in consumers. They ask, “Is sustainable living expensive?”.

Well, is sustainable living expensive? It is expensive, but it is a lot more complicated than that. There are a lot of factors that are included in sustainable living that may sound expensive at first, but in the long run, they reduce your costs by a lot! Want to know more about how expensive sustainable living is? Then let me give you a quick overview of whether sustainable living is expensive or not.

Key Takeaways

  • Sustainable living is expensive, but only at the beginning.
  • The reason sustainable living is expensive is because of low demand, high manufacturing cost, certification, changes made to businesses and homes, and the high cost of reusable goods.
  • Sustainable living is expensive but it is deceiving. Initial high costs go down the more you live sustainably.

Why is sustainable living expensive?

Why is sustainable living expensive

As I have mentioned, sustainable living is expensive, to begin with. But over time your costs will be decreased. A lot of people see the price tag of organic products or eco-friendly goods and are immediately discouraged from buying them. But it’s not the whole picture. Let me explain it in more detail.


The major issue with sustainable living is that there are not many people using sustainable products like organic foods or eco-friendly materials. Due to low demand, only a few of these types of sustainable items are made. Therefore, sellers tend to upcharge their products to be able to make a profit and produce more goods.

However, organic food can be produced cheaper than what is initially charged. In the future, when the demand and supply of sustainable products are more stable, then we can see a difference. But for now, they remain expensive.

High manufacturing cost

Due to ethical practices, organic producers have certain restrictions. They don’t use pesticides or other harmful chemicals. They also have a longer manufacturing process due because of how difficult some tasks are. And also to reduce waste from manufacturing. All these cause the cost to become high and sellers sell organic and eco-friendly products are higher prices.


If you have ever seen the Fairtrade or Leap Bunny logo on products, then you know that your product is sustainable. But, the checks that have been made to verify if the product is sustainable or not are the reason why sustainable living becomes expensive. These certifications are thorough and expensive. So again sellers have to sell their products at higher prices.

Businesses and Home

When businesses want to become eco-friendly and sustainable, they have to change a lot of things around their business. The power has to be changed to clean energy, cheaper products, and raw materials have to be changed to eco-friendlier materials which are difficult to find, and many more.

The same thing with homes. There are a lot of wasteful things around the house that needs to be changed to more sustainable options. For example, making your own sustainable garden in your backyard or installing solar panels.

Reusable Goods

One of the key features of sustainability is being able to reuse products. This makes it so that we have fewer waste products and pollution as a result. But reusable products are expensive! A plastic bottle only costs 1$ but is easily thrown away when you want another bottle of water. A good water bottle may cost up to 30$ but it can be refilled as many times as it can be used. This is why reusable goods look expensive at first. But they can be reused so there is less waste produced.

All these take an initial large money investment to get started which is why it makes it seem like sustainable living is expensive at the beginning, but the costs are significantly reduced over time.

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Is it worth living sustainably?

Is it worth living sustainably

Is sustainable living worth it or not? I will say yes it is! You looked at the cost and how expensive it is, but it is deceiving. Let’s get deeper into why sustainable living is worth it.

Initial cost

This is because only the initial cost of sustainable living is expensive. The solar panel you installed, making your vegetable garden, or switching to eco-friendly products might sound expensive. But I guarantee you, over the years you will the results. Not only will you be more sustainable, but you will reduce your costs by a lot. Think of the money you saved growing your food. It is crazy to think how much your costs will reduce if you put in the time and appropriate spending of money. This is one example, there are many more in sustainable living!

Reducing waste

Over time you will be producing fewer waste products. And you will also see that you are spending less on disposable goods, or you might even be reusing them! Think about it like this, you waste after you are done with a product. If you don’t have to keep buying the product, you are reducing your cost! Thus, over time that small investment will mean you less money in the future. And waste less as a result.

Farmers’ markets and bulk stores

See, the organic food you see in the supermarket is very expensive. But have you thought about why there are expensive? Well, the supermarket has to make its profits right? So definitely the prices will be higher! That is why finding your supplier is so important. Attending farmer’s markets or purchasing from a bulk store are good alternatives to supermarkets. The prices of organic food or eco-friendly products are way less in these shops and buying from there will reduce your expenses a lot!

Less cloth shopping

As humans, we pay a lot for clothing every year. This could be upwards of 1000$! Let’s be honest, you don’t need to buy all of that clothing. Then it is time to make the sustainable approach and spend less on clothing items and reuse old clothes. There are a lot of ways you can use old clothes as cleaning rags or you could do some arts and crafts to change the clothes to your fashion taste. Again, a little initial investment reduces your cost significantly in the future.

These are benefits regarding expenses, but there are many more benefits environmental and social benefits to being sustainable.


Are eco-friendly products expensive?

They are expensive. It is because they use quality products that cost more and need to pass certain certifications such as Fairtrade and Leap Bunny to be verified to be eco-friendly.

1. Is sustainable living affordable?

In the beginning it might be expensive, but over time sustainable living will become very affordable as you start to experience it.

Do I have to live a sustainable lifestyle?

It is totally up to you if you want to live a sustainable lifestyle. However, not only will a sustainable lifestyle be beneficial to the environment, it may help you as well.

Final Thoughts

Overall, you can see that living a sustainable life can be expensive at the beginning. A lifestyle change will always be expensive because you need new tools and equipment to change your lifestyle. Thus, sustainable living becomes expensive early on. However, as you keep living sustainably, you start making smarter decisions with your money and waste less. These all build up over time and within the first year of living sustainably, you will notice that your cost has come down. So give it some time before making your final judgment. Because sustainable living won’t be expensive as time goes on.

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Todd Smith is a trained ecologist with five years of experience in environmental conservation and sustainability. He has a deep passion for promoting sustainable practices and has developed a thorough understanding of the natural world and its complex interconnections.

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