Friday, October 10, 2008

The Cost of Going Green - Part 1

I've been a little despondent lately. I mean, who hasn't? Between my regular day-to-day activities that can just plain wear me right out, now we've got to monitor CNN or NPR regularly for imminent stock market crashes or bank catastrophes. To quote a old favorite movie of mine, I've sorta been in "The pit of despair" and a little absent from the blog world.

To share a little, I'm a young mother and I've been through some pretty lean times when my kids were young and I had little money. If the rent was paid and the kids fed, it was a successful week. Though, through education and hard work I've managed to own a nice home, drive a new car, I never worry about food on the table and have even carved out a little savings, an IRA and some college fund cash for later use. Only to see my hard work, sweat and tears being pissed away each time I open a statement from our financial advisor. And, now I'M pissed. Really. I am. I have succeeded because I busted my ass. I worked hard, I put my kids first and I have given back whenever I could and now? I'm being punished for it and so is my bank account.

Friends ask why I just don't give up this "green thing" as they call it. Isn't it more expensive? Oh, all that organic food just costs so much, they say. Wouldn't eating regular food save you some money? What about all the natural beauty products? Wouldn't you just save more by getting all of that from Target? I can't imagine what you pay for handmade soap!

And then, I am just pissed again. Why doesn't anyone see it? I actually, freakin' SAVE money by being conscious of what I buy and who I buy it from. Because of that local businesses benefit from my dollar spent, which means they in turn can buy products from someone else. Hellooooo? Anyone in there? If our dollars are spent in our own community, maybe EVERYONE would benefit. Cripes.

So, rather than keep ranting and choking back curse words, I thought I would write a simple series of posts on "The Cost of Going Green". Do you want to see in my wallet? Do you want to see where my money goes? Do you want to know exactly how much I save each month by going green? Well, then, I'll tell ya. It's actually freakishly frugal.

Starting next week, look for my new series of posts, organized by room of the home, right on down to the furry, four-footed critters sleeping on my feet at this very moment. I swear, it's cheaper. I swear, it's better for the environment. I swear, it's better for the local economy. And, most of all? I swear, it's easy. And, today with all the craziness and stress, couldn't we all use a little easy?

Oh, I see you rolling your eyes out there. You don't believe me, do you? Put down the Cascadian Farms granola bar and back away from the Horizon yogurt in plastic tubes, you'll be glad you did. Your wallet will thank you. The planet might even hug you. See you on Monday!

20 comments:

Jena said...

I like it! What a great way to put a positive spin on the things that are pissing us all off lately! ;) Can't wait for the series.

MamaBird said...

Love it, especially when the media's all over the "is being green too expensive for you" story. Looking fwd to your breakdown. I recently did the per pound breakdown on my dog's organic dogfood only to realize, much to my surprise, that it was cheaper than the conventional I was considering. Now, if they would stop packaging it in giant mylar bags....

Burbanmom said...

As I like to say, I may be recently "green", but I've always been cheap. I too have found that enviro-living saves us money. Sure, the budget shifts a bit, but all that money you now spend on GOOD, HEALTHY, ORGANIC, LOCAL food is more than made up for by what you save in gas, electric, water and trash. Not to mention, simply NOT BUYING NEW CRAP. That's a big cost saver right there!

Melinda said...

Great idea!! I've had lots of emails asking me about this, too. But I haven't actually sat down and calculated it all out. Now I can just point people to you and I don't have to! ; )

Recovering procrastinator said...

ooh, I can't wait! I love this idea.

Lisa Sharp said...

Can't wait! I just did my monthly grocery shopping and it was very high but I keep reminding myself if we eat home cooked organic meals in the long run we save on food and medical because we are sick less.

Reusing is the best way to save money! There are so many things I just don't have to buy anymore because of it. :)

Green Bob said...

We were frustrated that it was so hard to find local green business. We wanted to lower our carbon footprint, reduce overall energy consumption, buy fresh locally grown/produced stuff AND save money.... but had a hard time finding all the options. So we started http://www.FindGreen411.com as a free service in Austin Texas. So far we have over 400 local green businesses. Guess what... it's usually cheaper to buy local!

Stephanie said...

That's a great idea! Especially in times like this when most people are trying to figure out what they can do to tighten their belts (or are they? sigh.) Help local economy and save money/environment. Awesome combo.

She-Ra said...

I can't wait!

Lori said...

I also find it maddening to hear my friends and co-workers make similar statements about the cost of going green. Luckily, I've been able to point a few of them in the direction of affordable, local and organic sources for quality foods. I'm looking forward to this series, since it sounds like it'll not only help me, but also give me more tips to pass along to doubters...

Kim said...

I admit I'm a doubter, I really look forward to your series.

Rosa said...

I'm so glad you're doing this!

I can show people our reduced heat bills (significant) and my cleaning & disposables budget ($0) and compare the cost of a good bike (I spent an extravagant $700 on a new bike last year) to just the insurance on a car.

But people discount it because me & my partner are so generally cheap anyway - they figure we're just different than them, so it doesn't apply. I'd love to have something from a more normal household to show people.

Anonymous said...

This isn't one specific way to live a greener lifestyle. Unfortunately there are some folks out that there would like us to believe that we have to get rid of everything we currently have and buy the greenist option in order to live an enironmentally friendly life. Let's face it, if you're doing a news story on green living what looks sexier - the house that has all of it's air leaks sealed and saves energy on heating/cooling or the house that has an expensive set of solar panels on its roof but the owners still waste a lot of the electricity they generate?

EcoLabel Fundraising said...

Great points on buying from your own community!

We save tons of money being green - how about people just stop being addicted to those darn plastic water bottles. That's been my kick lately! People got along without them just 10 or so years ago! IT IS CRAZY!!

THINK OF THE SAVINGS. Drink from the tap if your water is worthy and most is!

Looking forward to your series.

Sadraki said...

That's great! I choose to live near where I work and go to school. Housing breaks out to about $50 more a month for the family of two than if we lived farther away and we have slightly less square footage. But really we have more space then we need. This lets us live car free and I guarantee I more than save $50 on not having a car--heck my friends with cars can't fill up one tank of gas for $50.

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