We get it, green is the new black

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Saving the environment has never been so cool; fashion designers made “organic, green” grocery  bags that will cost you just as much as your monthly food bill would be.  Organic fashions are simple, eco friendly, and will make your bank cry.  If you’ve went food shopping with only buying organic in mind, you probably were a bit surprised when your bill was double what you normally pay, right?

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For the average person, affording these things isn’t realistic. Sure it might be nice to sport the coolest, greenest hybrid car on the market, but the truth is right now they are still pricey, and we still need to be able to get around.  I’m going to give you ten ways to green your life, without spending a ton of money

1. Turn off your lights dude. You want to be green, but how many times have you fallen asleep with the TV on? How many nights go by that your computer buzzes away even though no one’s checking their email?  Before you leave the house, and before you hit the sack make sure your appliances and lights are OFF. You’ll be saving money on your bill, and preserving some energy.

2. DON’T buy in bulk. Cosco, BJ’s, Sams Club; these chains cater to large families who need 27 invididually wrapped candy bars, not just one. We understand the concept of buying in bulk, but think of all the waste that goes into making these products? If you can, avoid shopping there. If you feel like you can’t live without a thirty pack of chocolate milk, figure out a way to recycle the material.

3. BUY LOCAL! You may think there’s no one selling local produce in your area, but websites like Local Harvest use a search engine to find farmers markets, and farms in your community that are selling the good stuff. Who wouldn’t want to buy CHEAP, fresh organic produce? A tip: hit up the markets towards the ends, and sellers will lower the prices of their good signicantly since they can’t re-sell them. I’ve gotten homemade organic pies, vegges, and fruits all for under ten dollars by going an hour before the vendors closed up!

4. Direct Deposit and Automatic bill pay – does anyone actually pay their bills by mail anymore? If you do, stop. You’ll be saving a ton of trees by paying your bills online; almost every credit card, bank, and store offer free, safe ways to deposit money online and it’s easy as pie.

5. Eat at home, and compost while you’re at it. Eating out (especially at fast food joints) = tons of waste.

6.  Get thrifty! You don’t need to buy fancy organic materials to be more “green…” You’d be surprised at how much cool stuff you can find at your local Salvation Army, or even on Craigslist. One mans junk is another mans treasure, and you can find some amazing things to call your own, without breaking a budget.

7. Turn the heat down! Winter’s coming, and we all want to be toasty and warm, but we can acheive this buy throwing on another layer, NOT turning up the heat.

8. Get a water filter: Most of us love a cold bottle of water…but think about the waste! You can have clean, fresh water by getting a filter, and purchasing an eco friendly water bottle to carry arouind.

9. Reusable coffee filters. Have you ever run out of coffee filters and felt like life was over? I have. Purchasing a resuable filter will save you sanity, and help you live a bit more “green…”

10.  Nix the paper towells. I’ve got a toddler, two dogs, and two cats so paper towells were always a must in our home, and we’d go through five rolls in a week. When I realized (gulp) how much waste that was I felt a little sick, so now I collect old clothes, dishtowels, etc and use them as washclothes that I can wash when I’m done!

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Most of these are probably in your face obvious, but many of us choose not to change. If you can try and green your life in any of these ways, you’re making a small but important step. Being eco-concious isn’t a trend, it’s a way of life. Share with us other ways you “green” yourself!

10 thoughts on “We get it, green is the new black”

  1. Number 6 on your list is one that really stood out to me. It’s so much more important to reuse and buy old and used goods. That’s so much greener than buying newly produced “green” and organic goods. And on the other side, make sure to donate your used items too.

  2. Um. You completely missed the point of buying in bulk. When people say buy in bulk they’re not talking about purchasing a 50 pack of Hot Pockets at Sam’s Club. They’re talking about shopping in BULK BINS at places like Whole Foods or a community co-op where people are encouraged to bring their own containers and bags to fill up.

    Also, you missed one of the cheapest ways to “be green”. Cutting out meat. Not only is it the most impact a single person can have on the environment, but meat is so expensive that it can often cut a food budget in half.

  3. I wasn’t aware Whole Foods had a bulk bin, and for the record my list is ways you can save money, while going green. I would never suggest someone shop at Whole Foods to save anything, since it’s completely over priced. Many people DO however, shop at places like Cosco [amongst others] to buy items in bulk, for a low price, and I was against it.

    And, as an avid meat eater [free range, which is my preference] I would be a hypocrite to tell people to become vegetarians.

  4. Craigslist is great!

    We moved down to LA a couple of years ago, and furnished our entire place via Craigslist for under $500. Some of the best stuff was free – including a couch that probably would have cost $1,000 alone.

    We left LA a year later (we’re in a small town on the ocean north of Vancouver now) and sent everything out over Craigslist again…

  5. I agree with Nebraska. I buy in bulk all the time, but it’s not at cosco, etc., and it’s not candy bars and milk. It’s stuff like flour, sugar, oats, basic staples. And it’s at local co-op’s. It actually saves alot of money. It might not be as expensive as you think.

  6. fwiw, I shop at Costco all of the time, for simple household items and food. For food, what I do get can be separated easily and frozen. I intentionally look for reduced packaging. What I don’t get is supermarket single-use packaging like Styrofoam boxes and individually packaged snacks. A Costco bag of greens can last a week, and stays relatively fresh with minimal fuss. not to mention that I can share these foods with friends. Buying bulk isn’t just for big families.

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