When the Going Gets Tough, the Green Movement Gets Going

As economic times get tougher, more and more people are (fortunately) turning to green living as a way to not only save the environment, but also save a great deal of money. Reusable, refurbished, repurposed and rededicated items are not just for the thrifty at heart. Green is hip: shopping bags are now an item in every shopper’s grocery cart; flooring options for the home now include repurposed barn wood flooring; gardeners compost their food scraps and leaves; and people walk or ride their eco-friendly scooters to work.

Thanks to the great tide of information available on every possible green/money saving tip from eco-bags to eco-clothing, it is easier than ever before to live a completely green life at a fraction of the cost. Grandmothers, homesteaders, urbanites and professionals are falling into this rich way of living, and discovering that going green saves them a great deal of greenbacks. Creatively recycling items can help anyone live a simpler and cleaner lifestyle without cramping style or amenities. Green technology is available to help many people keep their amenities while adjusting their consumption of energy, and a good green home is comfortable, reliable and often quite inexpensive.

Before someone decides to run out to the nearest wilderness and live off of the land, however, they need to educate themselves and decide where to make the small changes first. According to the EPA, in 2009, the average American threw away (meaning it ended up in a landfill) over 243 million tons of trash. Much of it could have easily been recycled or repurposed, including the 60% of yard trimmings that would have made perfectly good mulch. The best way to go green is to begin with the simplest methods and work up from there: use recycled grocery bags, weatherize the home, and reuse refuse instead of throwing it away.

Consumers are finding a big financial pinch at both the gas stations and grocery stores, and in order to offset the rising costs of living, many people in both urban and suburban areas are turning back to gardening to help live a greener and less expensive life. Gardening can produce homegrown tomatoes, potatoes, or just herbs, and can be a great place to recycle old newspapers (mulch) coffee grounds (soil enrichment) or scrap wood (Adirondack chairs). Thinking green means finding creative ways to continue using items in order to avoid throwing them away, not purchasing the latest electronic gadgets or solar powered computers.

Simple, cost-effective steps can lead to complex solutions, and will ensure a safer and cleaner Earth for all inhabitants both now and in the future.


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