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Liz Thompson
Liz Thompson

Go Green on the Cheap


Creative Commons License Photo credit: lanuiop

Many tend to think of going green as being more expensive.  This idea may come from a tour of their local green market or a glance at a high end online retailer of organic products.  But this does not necessarily have to be the rule.  As a matter of fact, going green can go hand-in-hand with saving money.

That’s right, you can actually save a little green while switching to a more sustainable and organic lifestyle.

Let’s start with the most obvious choice; food.  To make your eating habits healthier and more environmentally sound does not mean you have to purchase all of your food from a health food store, which is usually more expensive.  Most large supermarkets now have a wide selection of organic products at rates comparable to conventional food products.  The first step is to know what is most important to buy organic.  Produce, meats and dairy are at the top of the list.  If your grocer doesn’t stock these items, make your usual purchases and swing by the organic grocer on your way home to stock up on apples, eggs and milk.  It may be one more stop but well worth it.

Next up is your bathroom cupboard.  Nontoxic, organic personal care items can also be found at many of the larger retailers now.  Target stocks Burt’s Bees as well as Weleda, both safe and reasonably priced.  And in the bathroom, more is less.  The fewer cosmetic products you have, the fresher they will be.

What about fashion, a term that generally makes us cringe if we are attempting to save dough.  But, we all need new clothing at some point, whether it is casual items or professional pieces.  So, is it truly a good idea to go on the cheap here?  Not in the long term.  If you make your choices wisely, and purchase a handful of higher quality, sustainable and organically produced pieces, they will last longer, which saves you money in the end.  A good investment.  When you want or need new, give your used clothing to your local consignment shop so someone else can use them too.  Save the cheap spending for items you use a lot, like t-shirts, socks and underwear.  See, green fashion can actually be better for you and the environment.

Check out this post at Treehugger.com for more on sustainable fashion.

With a little research and fore thought you can tailor make your own green living plan that still suits your budget.  Greener all the way around.

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Great article! I love the idea. Another option might be to green purchases you are already making and not have to spend an extra dime. If you shop through www.weshopgreen.org there are a bunch of stores people shop online through a lot, for example stores like amazon.com, wal-mart, orbitz... stores like that. The profits of the site are donated to green organizations. So if you can't afford the truly sustainable alternatives, at least you can give back a little with the things you already are purchasing. It surely can't hurt!

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