“Green” by Way of Frugality

Our family focus is balance. We attempt to find middle ground in the way we conduct our lives. By nature I am a legalist, I like rules, routines and formulas. Guess what, life rarely accommodates me in this need of mine. As soon as I climb on a soap box, I’m promptly knocked off by the holes in my plan or the unrealistic nature of perfectionism. I’m finding this most obvious in my pursuit of “GREENNESS”. Therefore I am reminded about balance, to do the best that I can and to focus more on wisdom than legalism.

Here is the list I am formulating (see how quickly I fall into it) :)

Wisdom verses Legalism

Plastics: Use minimally and when necessary to not waste something else. Yet, do not make other people feel guilty for using them.

Recycling: Use every resource possible to make sure I am being responsible with our recycling programs. But, going through the garbage and making a federal case out of throwing a aluminum can away can be a major deterrent in inspiring others to recycle.

Frugality: Meal plan, plan similar errands together, turn unnecessary lights off, choose purchases carefully. But, going to the store everyday because it’s “fresh”, Never turning on lights because it’s wasteful, and making my kids regret asking for another pack of gum, will teach weariness and bitterness.

How can you be green simply by being frugal or wise. Well, I know that bottled water is not necessary, studies have even shown that tap water is more healthy than the best bottled water. So if you buy bottled water or specialty drinks, it will save money and lessen garbage to stop buying them. We became used to getting a couple of Powerades every time we went to Taekwondo. By stopping, we have spent fifteen less dollars every month.

Meal planning is a huge way to save money in your grocery budget and the green benefit is that you will drive around less and by purchasing less you will inevitably  have less trash to throw away. There are many very good meal plans you can download right off the internet.

Leaving lights on is my fatal flaw. I feel comfortable and warm when there is a light on in every room. My husband will come home and tell me he could see our house from the end of the street. So, every once in a while I get on a kick where I rant at everyone to turn their lights off, they look at me like the hypocrite I am and try their best. But with the winter months here, it’s dark and I like my lamps. We have switched to fluorescent bulbs which definitely last longer but have problems of their own. The color of the light is very bright and I do not think they are very “green” when they finally go to the dump. So here is a place where I do my best but find a healthy balance doing it. If there is a light on that is not necessary, I turn it off and do not go to find the criminal who is throwing electricity away.

Laundry never has a lull here. EVER! I have started wearing my jeans three times just to balance the two kids who change twice every day. This is not a battle I take on. But we do use the dryer only when we have to; winter. This past summer we used three lines and not only did our energy bill drop considerably, our clothing smelled wonderful, ironing was rarely necessary and the clothing dried in the sun in a fraction of the time.

We reuse water in all the areas where we can. I collect most of what would go down the drain and use on house plants, trees outside, & animals. I do not freak out when someone dumps it in the sink, although I want to at times! :)

So here a few ways that frugality can cross over and be considered “green.”

What are ways that you have found to save a resource or practical ways to be frugal.?

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