By GreenMoms, Barefoot & Pregnant
The following is an example of the ideal green mom on a budget. Many of us do some of this and some mainstream stuff too because it is all we are mentally ready to tackle. This ideal example should be seen as a guide from, which anyone can pick and choose green ideas while trying to live on a budget in these tough times.
With the economy as depressed as it is, cutting back expenses is what many families must do these days. People are also becoming more aware that it is important to reduce household waste and pollution due to the dire state of the planet. But how can we be green on a budget? The common misconception is that it is more expensive to be green, but this is not true in all cases. The misconception is true if you BUY all green products, but this is not the darkest green way to live because even green products strain our resources and pollute a little. Being green on a budget is a change of lifestyle from buying everything we want to reducing, re-using, and recycling everything we need.
Being green on a budget is actually quite easy, although perhaps the harder part is getting used to a lifestyle and mindset change. This part is hard because we Americans are very accustomed to getting what we want quickly and getting new ‘things’ when we want them. Many Americans are also very into having the latest gadgets and technology to keep up with their friends. Such pressure the advertising media has put on us! If we could just re-train ourselves not to believe advertising and media so much, we could substantially reduce our over-consumption of material ‘things’ which tax the planet’s resources.
To give an example of how to be green on a budget, let’s look at what one might find in an ideal green mom’s home … that is, a green mom on a budget. First, you might notice she does not have the latest cookie cutter material goods that many mainstream households covet … such as the latest furniture from Pottery Barn or the latest kitchen accoutrements from William Sonoma. You might also notice there are not many high tech gadgets in the house. A green mom on a budget looks for what she needs and finds it used from Craigslist, Freecycle, garage sales or Re-Sale shops. Often times, she can find some great used wooden or natural toys for her kids in these spots. Even the clothes in the closets are ‘hand-me-downs’ from friends, family or second hand stores. She is also likely to have a car with good gas mileage, low emissions, or maybe even a car that runs on vegetable oil.
Next, she does not spend much money on cleaning supplies because she has some great bulk recipes to make her own very low cost non-toxic cleaning products. Making them is pretty quick and easy. For household supplies like tissue paper and paper towels, she uses cut up old t-shirts as hankies and a stack of cloth towels instead of paper towels.
Buying organic food is an important way for Green Moms to support an eco-friendly cycle of food production, so they might choose to spend their savings on this. In fact, if everyone demanded organic food, the world would definitely be a cleaner place. However, in a depressed economy, even a green mom might choose to buy organic only when it is a highly sprayed food. On the other hand, she would know that dairy products are definitely something to buy organic due to the multitude of contaminants in conventional dairy which can affect a growing fetus, babies, and children. Lastly, she might be trying to grow an organic garden as well in an effort to produce much of her own food or she might purchase a box of produce from her local organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) garden.
In the end, you can see an ideal Green Mom on a budget can save lots of money by reducing material consumption, and finding used household and personal goods. She will apply the philosophy of reduce, re-use, and recycle to almost everything. You will also find that a Green Mom is much less impressed by material goods than she used to be. She cannot talk about these ‘things’ as excitedly as mainstream moms because it seems too wasteful to her. It is a shift in attitude and lifestyle, but it is very rewarding! I firmly believe in baby steps, so green on gradually! Your children will thank you!