The first principle of being a green saver is to buy less stuff and reduce your spending. Refuse to buy into (pun intended!) the consumerism mentality. In terms of stuff, less is more. Businesses sell things to make money. Money is good. It fattens our wallets and allows us to buy things we need (and sometimes want). On the other hand, green savers are discerning consumers, which leads to the second principle.
Reuse stuff when possible. Ask yourself if you can use something again. If the answer is yes, then we save money. Replacing things when they are worn out feels good rather than buying every new, bright and shiny object.
Tree-huggers are smart folks, so I bet you already know the third principle. Recycle instead of throwing things away, but first brain storm ways to repurpose items before tossing them in the recycling bin or, as a last resort, the trash. I recently repurposed my kitchen table into my desk when I moved. Get creative and you can save a lot of green by repurposing alone.
Be resourceful and repair stuff when possible. If you don’t have the skills to make the repair, find someone who can or learn the new skill yourself. For instance, I replaced the battery in an iPod instead of buying a new one, but first I watched someone else make this repair.
Join the do-it-yourself community. Making (and repairing) stuff, whether it be food, art or clothes for example, saves money and can be a satisfying experience. It’s fun to learn new things and use your hands.
Save Even More Green
Don’t be afraid of thrift stores and buying used goods. Consider craigslist.com and freecycle.com. Buying quality, used goods is another way to help the environment and reduces the amount of new things cycling into the world, which may end up in landfills.
Green folks are creative people who find ways to buy things they need while keeping more money in their pockets. Think of it as a game—the green savings game. It’s fun and good for the Earth. With the extra money you save, you can relax—the most important concept of all. Knowing you have money in the bank will give you peace of mind.
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May 6 (in Chicago)
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