Being Green and Being Frugal

by Kelly · 2 comments

in Thoughts On Frugality

Is it a coincidence that green is both the color of money and of the environment? Maybe, maybe not. I do know that, for me at least, the two are inescapably intertwined even though I’ve come to be frugal and environmentally aware through different paths.

I grew up in a household that was at least nominally aware of environmental issues: we recycled, had low flow shower-heads, let it mellow, and were vegetarian. When I moved into my first apartment it was with a roommate who was an activist for Greenpeace, so my environmental education was kicked up a notch. We composted and gardened, ate locally and shopped ethically. A few years ago I made the resolution to only buy green cleaning products for my home. This is one of the easiest resolutions to keep I’ve ever made. When buying (or not buying appliances), their energy star rating and environmental impact is a major consideration, even if it raises the cost of the product.

I came to frugality through a different route, that of never having quite enough money. It wasn’t that I was poor, it was that I wasn’t good enough at stretching the few dollars I did have. Being frugal was less of a choice than a necessity; I could either learn to better manage my money now, or down the road after I’d goofed up even more.

I consider being green and being frugal almost to be moral imperatives. I’m not sure how many people still believe that global warming is a myth, but I think the evidence is pretty strong that it’s not and that it’s more important than ever to change our habits. I also think that consumerism, especially in America but really all over the world is rampantly out of control and that we should be working to rein it in.

This is not to say that I’m perfect. I still use way more than my fair share of the earth’s resources and I love shopping just as much as the next person. Every day, however, I try to do just a little bit better than the day before. All big change is a series of small adjustments. Try it and see- nudge yourself out of your comfort zone just a little. It’s easier than you think.


1 Ukie (formerly Dutchess) April 22, 2008

Hi! I liked your post. I’m also at a point in my life where I am trying to save more and build financial stability. I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between being a “cheapskate” and being “frugal” and I much prefer the word “frugal” and its connotations. Cheap makes me think of people who tip poorly, buy discount items just because they are at a discount and things like that. Frugal seems more to be a lifestyle of conserving resources and living ones life to the fullest in the smallest footprint possible, both financially, and economically. Anyways, best of luck to you!

2 mydailydollars April 23, 2008

Great post! I agree being “green” and saving some green can go hand in hand!

Just to let you know, I’ve tagged you for a meme in my post “It’s Only Money.”

I love you blog, by the way, and will put it on my blogroll!

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