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Budgeting For a Green Lifestyle

Green Money Tip: Budgeting For a Green Lifestyle

If you've been looking for ways to start greening up your lifestyle, there are changes you can make immediately that will allow you to afford living in a way that promotes sustainability. Take a look at your current habits and pick out the ones that are particularly wasteful. Cut back your spending in those areas first — the money you save can be used to support habits that are healthier for you and for the Earth. Diane MacEachern, author of Big Green Purse: Using Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World, makes becoming a green citizen seem easy and gave her two cents in an interview with US News.

I encourage people to look at their entire household budget and find where you are wasting money. For example, people complain about the high price of organic apples but then spend $10 to $15 on bottled water. Or they'll say they can't afford paper towels made out of recycled fibers, and yet they're still spending $10 to 15 a week on throwaway paper products, when in fact they could buy a sponge that's going to last three or four months. So there's actually a lot more leeway in everyone's budget than we realize. In the long term, if you can't find an extra $10 a week for products that are really going to protect you and the environment, then you need to step back and think about how you're spending your money overall, because there is a lot of cushion in most of our budgets.

Which green habits would you like to try and adopt, if any?


Join The Conversation
Kat-E Kat-E 8 years
I just started a new agenda in our office to waste less paper (because even recycling requires energy to make new things) by scanning forms and documents that need to be sent somewhere (especially overseas) and emailing them as attached PDF files. We also imported all of our office forms (days off, phone lists, shipping requests, etc) into Google Docs, so now everyone can access them when they want, fill them out online, and submit them via email.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i don't think I could do more at this time, until i live in a house where i can make some real changes. i buy organic or local (whichever is best environmentally), walk or take the bus everywhere, buy only fair trade or local made clothing...etc etc. this summer when the farmers markets are out i'll be buying almost all local/organic produce. can't wait! :)
ALSW ALSW 9 years
We've started with little things that using less energy around the house by opening the windows, buying LEDs when possible, and recycling as much as we can.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Great tips! I buy organic when I can. The grocery store near me sells limited organic and (no) green products. I have asked the manager and he says no one else is asking, so I am waiting to see what will happen. I am traveling more just to get better products, sigh.
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 9 years
i've slowly started buying organic produce. bit by bit -- first raisins (i read that they have one of the highest pesticide levels), then carrots, then apples, then lettuce, and so on... most of our lightbulbs are now those energy-efficient flourescents, too. i'd like to start buying recycled paper towels and napkins (and cut them out eventually, but i do baby steps!), and buy more organic meat.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I've greened up my office--we recycle now (it was a long time overdue even before I started working there) and waste about 75% less paper than before. These tips on budgeting to afford a green lifestyle were really interesting. Thanks so much for posting! Now, if someone could just get Whole Foods to be more budget-friendly...
Arias101 Arias101 9 years
Hi I was wondering if you could check something out for me, I get e-mails from CREDO mobile, and they suggested a credit card called the Working Assets Visa Signature Credit Card. Supposedly they give money with purchase, I was wondering if you could tell me some more about this or check it out. I would love to be savvy, but I don't want to be going into some scam. Thanks in advance!
Mintie Mintie 9 years
I've been ordering produce [and a few other items] from a local and organic food delivery service, and have been replacing cleaning supplies with greener cleaning supplies. My dream is LED lightbulbs.
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