As the creator of the Green ABC’s, my greatest obstacle to setting forth the message of the program has been the negative notion of the word ‘green’ as it relates to green, sustainable or regenerative living.
After reading a book that can only be looked to as a sea-change for those of us who are proponents of green living, In Cheap we Trust by Laura Weber, it is now my pleasure to set fourth five concepts that will help us all get frugal- and then realize that in the end result green living is really frugal living. Let me start this off by quoting from In Cheap We Trust.
“Unfortunately, the environmental movement of today has to some extent been hijacked by fashion. Canny marketers know a good opportunity when they see one, and they understand that Americans these days aren’t especially interested in sacrifice. We want our organic spelt cake and we want to eat it.”
So, here we are. A country that is using green living to sell dog food. When what we really want to do, (at least this is my cause, to teach green living concepts to save the planet, and save money!) Is learning how green living can help us become frugal and a less consumer based society.
Just as a jumping off board and based on the concepts that I put forth in the Green ABC’s Flash Card System here are five concepts that will help us begin to get frugal and get green.
1) Eat in season. It just makes economic sense to take advantage of local bumper crops. In Indiana, right now in the late summer and early fall, we are harvesting bushels of garden tomatoes and apples. What a feast for those of us who love these types of foods. At this time of year, it just makes sense to realize that seasonal foods are cheaper- frugal people know this- and so do locovores.
2) Don’t Buy New! What’s the point? There are dozens of places today who offer the opportunity to buy used furniture, used clothes, and just about anything used. Reusing is just as important and frugal as recycling. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Freecycle, and the old neighborhood staple- garage sales, all offer the best opportunity to become frugal and absolutely green.
3) Staycations- With gas cost always on the rise, and a commitment to saving every last bit of fuel, it just make better sense today to visit those treasures that are in your own hometown, or maybe a little left or right of it. Check out the local phone book for museums, libraries, zoos, and parks around town. Get to know the history of your area. Fort Wayne, Indiana is awash in history. Most of its residents just don’t know enough about it. Instead of flying to LA, visit the local parks and take a picnic. Another great way to get frugal and stay green.
4) Use the Library! For everything you can! In my estimation, there is no greater recycling container than the local library. Books, movies, music, and computer kiosks are all available for free! I am a voracious reader, and find my best ideas, not just from reading books, but from the ideas that are sparked after doing so. I am normally up to date on all the best sellers, and even get my textbooks there for my college courses.
5) Drink Tap Water! There is no sense in buying bottled water! Tap water is just as clean, doesn’t use plastic bottles or any other kind, and is readily available. Find and buy a reusable bottle from any local store, and fill it up with tap, and take that along on your bike ride to your local park or farmer’s market. Just another way to get frugal and get green.
These are just a few of the simple ways you can begin to become a little more frugal and lots more green.
Recently, a study was done that found that most people think that ‘˜going green’ costs too much to accomplish. I don’t think that is the case- I think going green is about learning to live simply, frugally, and with an eye towards innovation and a future where being hoggish consumers is no longer in style.