It is often believed that frugal living and green living are two very different ideals and that never shall the two meet. While it is certainly true that it can sometimes be difficult to bring the two lifestyles together, it’s not impossible. In fact, frugal living can be green living, if you do it right. Check out a few of these tips for making the two meet in an amicable manner.
Reuse and Repurpose Items
Finding a new use for items that most people would throw away is both frugal and green. Reusing an item saves it from the landfill and also saves you the money you would spend on the item you’ve repurposed it as. For example, reuse toilet paper and paper towel tubes for craft projects (holiday decorations anyone?) and you won’t need to buy new decorations. The tubes are saved from the landfill. Green, and frugal!
It is both frugal and green to repair items you have instead of buying replacements. The person who wants to live frugally and with a green mindset will learn how to make repairs on things that break instead of discarding them in favor of new items.
Learning to sew in order to mend and alter clothing is a great example of frugal and green living. In today’s throwaway society, an article of clothing that is torn or too large or too small would end up in the trash with a one-way ticket to the local landfill. For the frugal and green person, that item is repaired or altered to fit. If it can’t be repaired or altered, then it is parted out. Buttons, zippers, and elastic are removed for use with later projects and the fabric is cut up and used for rags or craft projects.
Squeezing out every bit of usefulness from an item instead of tossing it away is a characteristic of both frugal living and green living.
Green vs. Frugal
In reality, it may be difficult to tell the difference between green living and frugal living. The easiest way to tell is to examine the motivation behind the actions. A person who is focused on green living will make decisions based upon the effects it will have upon the environment. A person who is more focused upon frugal living will use saving money as the motivation behind their actions.
Frugal is Green
Saving water and electricity are good examples of actions that are both green and frugal. A person can cut back on their water use and serve both purposes. It cuts back on a utility bill and saves a little bit of money, and conserving water is a part of green living. Cutting back on excessive electricity use helps the environment, but it also saves a little bit of money.
Green and frugal may have slightly different motivations, but ultimately they are both about saving: Saving the environment and saving money.
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