In the early days of being enviromentally conscious, it seemed like the “good” choice was more expensive. A hybrid car costs more than the gasoline only car. Curbside recycling meant higher trash bills. Nowadays, being green doesn’t mean paying more. It is possible to be green and frugal at the same time? I believe it is at least some of the time.
1. Energy. Saving energy is good for the earth and your pocketbook. Turn off lights, unplug vampire power devices and replace regular incadescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Another way to trim energy expenses is by keeping the thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter than you might normally. Adjust your comfort with the use of clothing adjustments, fans and space heaters. All of these steps will result in energy savings.
2. Water.Water is a precious commodity on Earth in general and especially here in California where we seem to be in a drought more often than not. Cutting back on use and therefore your bill can be accomplished with several small changes such as: shut off the water when brushing your teeth, adjust washer settings to the size of the load, take quicker showers, and cut back on lawn watering. San Diego County is in water restriction mode now and nearly everyone I know has had a water bill reduction as a result of the mandatory cutback on landscaping watering days alone.
3. Reuse goods. I can’t stand the thought of putting my castoffs in the landfill unless it is unsuitable for use. Just because I don’t want an old vacuum doesn’t mean another person wouldn’t like to put it to good use. Mr. Boomer and I have used Craig’s List and Freecycle many times to give away or sell used items.
Conversely, these are great sites to find things you need but don’t mind used such as baby equipment and clothes, books, tools and so forth. Other sources are garage sales,thrift stores and used-book stores.
4. Reusable water bottle. I drink several glasses of water daily at work and used to take bottled water. Mr. Boomer shamed me into using my reusable water bottle for environmental reasons. Well, in addition to not adding to landfills, using energy resources to create the bottle and so forth we are saving money by using our own filtered water in a bottle that we can wash and use over and over.
5. Grocery bags. We made the commitment a couple of years ago to switch to reuseable bags when we shop and are pretty good about it. Although the bags may cost you money initially, most grocery stores will credit you 5 cents a bag either with a discount or program points which convert to cash. If you can’t crack open the wallet to buy bags, stores routinely give them away as promotional items especially during Earth week each April.
Have you made any of these changes? If not , just try making one change and build upon that success to continue moving towards a green and frugal life.
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