Shop Green Cheaply – Does It Really Cost a Fortune to Buy Green?

So, you want to do your bit for the planet and shop green but you are worried about the cost?

The first thing to think about when weighing up the cost of going green, is what is the real cost. Isn’t it better to spend a little bit extra now, on living a healthy green lifestyle, rather than paying quite a bit more later, on hospital bills? Still there are a few things that you can do to keep the cost down of just doing the right thing by yourself and the planet.

First and most importantly, stop wasting your money on bottled water. It takes energy and lots more water is wasted in the cleaning process. It does not matter how many creative uses that you can think of for the empty bottles afterwards, most just end up in landfills. Even if they can be recycled, you can only do that so many times to the plastic, before it is eventually dumped.

So, buy a water filtering system. I know there are lots of jugs that you can store in your fridge and you can have appliances added to your faucet, (watch out for these, cheaper models waste more than they save) but there is a better alternative. Investigate the large free-standing water filters (that look like old tea urns), and are used in disaster zones. If you add up how much you spend in a year on bottled water, you will realise what a saving this will make. One of these on your kitchen work top can easily provide enough clean water for the whole family. It also has the added benefit of making water from any source drinkable in an emergency, even pond water. Bottle up your own water to take around with you.

Next, bulk buy your supplies if you can. There are “membership warehouses” around but why not have a chat with your neighbours and friends? Together you can have some real buying power and it will give you a chance to spread around the “Go Green” message. Even your local shopkeepers will consider giving you a hefty discount if you approach them with a big order. Make sure that you only stock up on items you really need, though and watch those expiry dates. You will also find the bigger the packs, the less packaging there is to find its way to the dump, so the planet wins as well.

Experiment with a healthy diet. You do not have to change overnight but start introducing yourself to new meals. Make a note of those you enjoy but do not force yourself to eat things that you do not like, just because you think it is green and healthy. One thing that you can do, is to try some meat free meals a couple of times a week. Apart from been expensive to buy and expensive in ecological costs to produce, meat is also associated with all those cruelty issues, that are best not thought about unless you are going to become a full vegetarian.

Recycle your rubbish and I do not just mean sorting it out into piles for the garbage man! When you are going to buy something, think about the packaging and what you will have left at the end of the day. How many containers have you just thrown away when they are empty, that you could have reused? How many times have you bought a clear container, when you have thrown away a perfectly useful container that something else came in? Got some empty glass jars? That is the perfect excuse to make some home-made jam or chutney.

Which brings us neatly on the next thing you can do to save money while going green – home cooking. Buy ingredients, instead of pre packaged TV dinners. Make your own jams, preserves, chutney. When you cook meals, plan to have some left over that you can freeze for another meal. This will save time and money. Experiment and have fun, there are thousands of free recipes on-line. If you really want to go green and save more money, think about also growing some of your own ingredients. Herbs in pots, vegetables in raised beds and even just a couple of chickens will provide lots of healthy eggs.

If you find that you enjoy playing in the kitchen with recipes, you could go onto making your own beauty products. Again there are hundreds of different recipes on-line for beauty creams, shampoos and facial scrubs. Make sure that you shop green for the ingredients,though.

Remember, you do not have to do this alone, actually it is more fun with some friends. So, why not invite you neighbours round for a baking session or even better start a “Bread baking club”, where you take turns to bake loaves at each others houses. Going Green can really be the cheaper alternative but more that it can be a lot of fun.