I just saw this post, New York Woman Shifts to Green, Saves More Than $10,000, and immediately thought “ooh, let’s save some money”. Then I looked at what she did and, umm…yeah, I won’t do most of that. Oh well, maybe one of you could benefit from her going green tips.
Here’s the changes she went through (my responses are in italics):
1. Become vegetarian. I enjoy steak way too much.
2. Become vegan and only eat and use organic foods and items. I enjoy Kroger’s way too much.
3. “Become conscious and present to the world and nature around me, as well as to family, friends, and neighbors”. I think I’m very conscious about my surroundings and the people around me, but this is a good reminder.
4. Change consumption patterns. We are thinking about composting, but I don’t see our consumption patterns changing soon.
5. Saving money due to these shopping habit changes. See below.
This is how she saves:
1. Switch to natural cleaning agents – saving $800-900/yr. I do like using vinegar since it’s cheap, but I do also use bleach, which is what she’s against the most.
2. Create zero waste – saving $180/yr. That’s pretty cool, but I just don’t see us going to the extremes she has to cut down to almost no real waste.
3. Drink and carry tap water – saving $500+ annually. We buy bottled water every few months and reuse the bottles until I consider them too gross.
4. Buy $.99 reusable grocery bags, eliminating real costs of using and disposing of plastic bags – savings $100/yr. We reuse the plastic grocery bags for so many things that I rarely use the reusable grocery bags…although they do come in handy at the library and Sam’s Club.
5. Limit gift giving – saving $500. We’ve narrowed our gift giving and receiving group to immediate family and closest friends, but I’m not willing to cut back further. I love gift giving…it makes me act like a giggly 6 year old again.
6. Drive fuel-efficient car less – saving an average of $100-$150/month, or $1200 – $1800/yr. We do own a Prius, but we drive it a lot. Cutting back would mean giving up my husband’s career of teaching since they aren’t on a bus route and hobby job as a contract referree.
7. Buy no fragrances: no perfume, scented candles, or air-freshners – saving $500+ annually. I married the one man inthe world who really likes nice smells around the house…I think I might get a major eyeroll if I suggest getting rid of our Dreamsicle plug-ins…
8. Avoid plastic wrap — saving $150 annually. This makes me so sad…I love plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
9. Minimize paper — saving $300. We’ve done this mainly out of convenience…online billing is just so much easier and we don’t have any magazine subscriptions.
10. Use compact light bulbs & other efficient appliances – saving $200/yr. We replace burned out bulbs with CFL’s, so our house is about 50/50 right now.
11. Buy used, refurbished goods – saving $2,000/yr, plus gas, energy and time to shop. I just bought a used chest freezer for $25. I’ll tell you how it works out.
12. Grow own food — saving $450-$500 on food, garden chemicals. I’m thinking of growing cucumbers and tomatoes, but I never seem to get around to it.
13. Conserve water — saving $100/yr. We take short showers and only water our lawn once a week during the summer, so we seem to be doing okay on this front. I like the idea of rain barrels, but wonder how I’d make it work since we don’t have gutters.
14. Installed gravel driveway — saving $4,000. That would look really strange in my neighborhood…
Are you green or going green? What’s working well for you? What other going green tips can you suggest?