Saturday, June 14, 2008

Green Living means a green wallet

I want to preface my comments in this post by saying this: I am not convinced that man-made climate change is a reality. In my mind global warming is a theory, and a shaky one at that.

Yet I find "green living" to be appealing on many fronts. Let me explain.

I don't care for waste. Wasted food bothers me most. I try to cook only enough food for a meal, because neither of us are good about eating leftovers. I don't recycle, but that's mostly because I have no cans or bottles at my house. Most of what I throw away is too insignificant to make me a dime at the recyclers. I don't buy individually packaged convenience foods. Most green living gurus tell you to steer clear of individually packaged foods because of the huge amounts of packaging that ends up in our landfills. I understand the plight of our heaping landfills, but this is not the reason I skip convenience foods. I skip them because they're STINKING EXPENSIVE! You're paying for that packaging trash! On top of that, what's in the packaging is not likely real food anyway. I just doubt that people who actually have a grocery budget would buy these things.
I also don't care for wasted energy. I'm a miser with the fuel in my car. I walk places when I can. I practice my hypermiling techniques when I drive. At home, I am the light police, turning off lights when I notice no one is in the lighted room. I turn the thermostat up to 80 when we're at work, and wash our clothes in cold water whenever possible. I do these things not to reduce my carbon footprint, but to reduce my power bill! And shorter showers are appealing to me too: not only because I'll use my water heater less, but because the area I live in IS in a serious drought. "Green" or not, water is precious- pay attention to what you're using it for.
Organic and local are two words I wish I could see on every food item in my house. The reason? Organic= somebody didn't mess with my food. It totally bothers me to buy tomatoes and cucumbers that I have to wash for 5 minutes because they are sprayed with some glossy stuff to make them pretty. And who knows what other weird chemicals were used in the process. Local= likely very little processing/preservatives and duh it didn't have to travel far in a truck burning $5.30/gallon diesel fuel. Usually it tastes better too. Unfortunately that first word, organic, usually costs a bunch more money that I cannot justify spending on my current budget. If it only costs me a little more, I'll pay the extra- especially for produce. I'm a farmer's market junkie. Their produce tastes better and is generally pretty cheap. $ .98/lb. squash at WinCo versus $ 1.50/lb local, super-fresh squash (sometimes $ 1.00/lb.)- the farmer's market will win my cash any day. And I just found a new one the other day that's a mile from my home that sells bread, honey, mushrooms, cheese and flowers in addition to fruits and vegetables.

My point is, in many ways, green living saves my pocket book. And if I eat more organic and local produce than I eat fake meat burgers at McDonalds, it might save my backside from becoming too much larger. And both of those sound great to me.


mg said...

Girl, you're talking my lingo!