As I write this, it’s Friday night and since I tend not to have a life, I just finished watching Nightline. One of the more interesting segments was about how a group of moms limit their waste to one canof garbage a year. Specifically they had the moms from Enviromom on the show. They admitted that one can of garbage a year is a little aggressive for a beginner, but that one can a month is possible. They helped educate a family how they do it (watch it here). As they were going through the tips, I was surprised to learn than many of them save money as well.
- Buy in Bulk – They pointed out a lot of products we buy come in single serving packages. The Enviromoms pointed out that while this is convenient, it isn’t very green. Even something small like individually-wrapped string cheese could be replaced with one big chunk of cheese put in a reusable container. It occurred to me that this is also the cheaper method.
- Pre-cycle – The idea here is a little like the above, but it’s simply the idea that you should buy less.
- Reuse – The Enviromoms don’t buy paper towels or plastic knives and forks. Instead they have reusable cloth towels and regular silverware. I would think that you’d have more laundry and have to do more loads of dishes. This would obviously use more water and soap. Now I’m not an expert, but they are, so I’ll yield to their knowledge on this one.
Not every environmental change you make is going to save you money. In some cases, the green version of a product is going to cost you more. At some point, you may have to decided between your wallet and the environment.
Other tips are going to require you do a little bit more work. I’m quite Lazy, so for me this extra work has to be very little. Fortunately, the above tips also work for the lazy. Buying in bulk equals less shopping. My wife might agree that I’ve become good at not buying stuff – I would say that is pretty lazy as well. Lastly, making a little extra use of dishwashers and laundry machines saves me from having to take out the trash more often.
It’s good to know there are green options that are good for the my wallet (and my work ethic) too.