Are you affected by the down economy? Everyone is feeling the crunch of high gas prices, rise in food cost & decline in home equities. This effect has no boundaries, from celebrities like Ed McMahon loosing his home to the mom & pop business down the street that had to close their doors.
Living a green lifestyle benefits more than our fragile planet. It benefits the welfare of our families as well. Here are 10 ideas to help tough out this down period.
- Switch to cloth napkins & cloth kitchen rags. Using cloth napkins and rags as an alternative to paper towels will save at least $60 a month depending on your usage & family size. This also eliminates excess waste and saves trees.
- Take turn carpooling. Get some co-workers together & plan out a carpooling schedule. It's a great way to connect & make friends before the daily grind starts, while saving gas & emissions.
- Drive your car till it won't drive no more. Sure, driving a Prius is eco-chic & turns girls on, but what makes real eco sense is keeping that old 1986 VW till the wheels fall off! If you must buy another car, buy used. Obviously, lots of people are hip to this. Just look at the prices of these used, gas efficient, old school geo metros!
- Plan an errand day. Consolidating your errands to one dedicated day to save gas & time. Map it out. Plan it out.
- Ride a bike when you can. Get a work out & save gas. I love seeing mom's roll their kids to school in a bike trailer. The kids gets the morning breeze & a nice ride before tackling the madness of kindergarten.
- Eat less meat. Not everyone is willing to give up their carnivorous ways, but if you are one of the few willing to try, you'll find it better for your health, for the earth & for your pocket.
- Shop at your local farmers market. Buying local gets you fresh in-season produce that gets more bang for your buck. Support your local growers by becoming a regular.
- Don't fall for the 100- calorie pack mentality – Pre-packaged 100 calorie pack snacks are all over the grocery isles. This not only adds to unnecessary plastic & paper usage, but usually cost 25% to 50% more than if you buy in bulk. You can accomplish the same effect by preparing portions yourself in reusable containers. Hint: 100 calorie packs of Oreo cookies will NOT help you lose weight. Try an Apple instead. 100 calories of good carbs.
- Use a power strip. As you know, plugged in electronics continue to use electricity whether or not it's being utilized. Use power strips to easily unplug multiple electronics like cell phone chargers and lamps. Thus, saving energy & cut down on your monthly bill.
- Quit smoking. Like eating less meat, quitting tobacco benefits your health, our planet & your pocket but in a much grander scale! Health reasons are obvious, Tobacco growing is enormously destructive to the world’s forests & a single smoker spends thousands on cigarettes in their lifetime.
Health & wealth go hand & hand. Live healthy, live happy & wealth will follow. For more great tips on surviving the down economy FrugalDad.com