One of the common misnomers is that being green can be more expensive than a non-sustainable way of life. All those organic foods, investing in solar panels and other renewable energy sources, not to mention paying a premium for FairTrade products. It’s enough to make you wince.
And yet the truth is that in many ways going green is the perfect partner of frugality. The simple fact of the matter is that both concepts focus on shunning our consumer society and making do with what we have. Not convinced? Then here are five top reasons why it’s possible to be both frugal and green at the same time…
Giving Up Your Car
Cars are an expensive commodity. From buying your car to insuring it, fuelling it and fixing it the cost of owning a car can run into the thousands each year. Many eco-conscious individuals opt to either forego their car altogether or at least to minimize it’s environment impact by only using it for essential journeys and even then using lift-sharing schemes to reduce the carbon footprint of each journey.
When you look at the average person’s grocery shopping one of the single most expensive elements is the cost of meat. The reason for this cost is quite simply how many resources (food, time, space etc.) are required to produce meat on a commercial scale.
Your vegetables and cereals cost far less to produce and can be more intensively farmed and so cost less for the end consumer. So giving up meat can be an excellent way to be greener while saving considerable sums of money along the way.
All this money you’re saving can be put to good use by saving it for a rainy day such as by taking advantage of the best isas. A number of well-known high street banks and ethical investment firms can help you invest your money in sustainable practices. Surprisingly the returns on these green investments can be quite impressive and you can rest safe in the knowledge that your new frugal lifestyle is helping to build a nest-egg for your future.
Interested in fitting solar panels in your home or an air source heat pump? Certainly these will require some considerable investment to fit but taking care of the money you’re saving with your eco-friendly choices can be a handy way to squirrel some of this away in order to afford a more sustainable future for you and your children.
Growing Your Own Food
Many common fruits and vegetables can be surprisingly easy to grow – even in the very small spaces that many modern homes possess. By using concepts like undercropping one can increase yields even further so that many of your common food-stuffs can be produced at home for next to nothing.
By growing your own fruits and vegetables you will be able to reduce food miles, ensure they are grown in an environmentally (read: chemical-free) nature as well as knocking a considerable sum of money off your weekly grocery bill.
Make Do & Mend
At it’s core, environmentalism appreciates that our consumer society is not the ultimate answer. Buying new goods all the time fuels manufacturing, the use of fossil fuels, oil-based transport solutions and excessive packaging that is often sent to landfill.
A better solution – both for your pocket and for the environment – is to make use of what you have. Try to prolong it’s life through proper care and maintenance thus reducing the need to buy a replacement. And when that time does finally come, try to buy second-hand or even borrow it from a friend.
Do you believe that it’s possible to be green and frugal at the same time? What do you think the challenges are? Please leave a comment below and let me know…