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Day 30: thrifty and green

So, in my ongoing research, one of my readers (thanks, JM!) suggested the following book:

Read more about this at shiftyourhabit.com

Anyway, this book puts together two things that I've been thinking about: how to be frugal, and also environmentally-friendly. Like, I know it's better for the planet to get organic and fair-trade things, but they are more expensive, so where's the balance? One of my coworkers refuses to buy anything sold at chain stores or fabricated in China, which is good ethically, but not so much frugally. For Christmas, she purchased a $300 toaster just because it was made in England. $300 toasters may be good globally, but are not frugal.

The Porsche of toasters

So, the book. I'm still in the beginning part of it, but so far there's been lots of pats on the back for me. Some of the suggestions they make are like, "really? Does anybody out there really not do this?"

For instance: using cloths instead of paper towels is frugal AND green. But, I never use paper towels so I'm already doing this. Or, they suggest not using a fresh towel every time you shower. And I don't think it's TMI to let you know that I change my bathroom towel maybe every two weeks? If I remember? Because you're drying off your CLEAN BODY so why change towels?



There are other tips that are more for homeowners, rather than renters like me. Like, they suggest programming your thermostat, turning off the A/C when not home, etc. But my heat is included in my rent, and I have no control over it, which is why it is -30 outside right now and two of my windows are open: the building likes to keep the heat up REALLY HIGH ALL THE TIME.

And then they suggest things I also already do, such as take the bus instead of driving (who knew that failing the driver's test so many times reflected FRUGALITY/GREENNESS rather than my rather horrible driving skills?).

They also advocate using vinegar and baking soda to clean most things, which I've read elsewhere as a frugal tip. And I will do that once I use up my very-full containers of cleaning stuff, which also begs the question, should I be cleaning more frequently? I don't think so. The only cleaning supplies I ever replace are dish soap, laundery detergent, and soap-soap. Ooh, but I am starting to run low on dish soap. So I can do a frugal/green thing when it runs out, and make dish soap out of vinegar (or whatever).

Note: to be frugal and green, I will first have to purchase baking soda and vinegar. But then LOOK OUT!

I will keep you informed of how this book is. So far, it makes me feel exceptionally green and frugal, and it will be nice to find some tips to actually save me some more money.

1 comment:

Olivia Corey said...

Check out "1001 Natural Remedies" by Laurel Vukovic, 2003, Dorling Kindersley Limited, London.
I have the book in German and use it all the time. Unfortunately, what is common in an American household (perhaps also an English household) is not common in Germany, and therefore for me the basic ingredients that are cheap for me back in the US are expensive here. However, it's a good book, and I believe could be helpful for you in your endeavor to be frugal yet green in your home.
Much success to you!
-OMC

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