There is a whole sub-culture within the personal finance world that is dedicated to frugal living (reducing your living expenses), and a lot of what we talk about here on Planet Green fits within that tradition. One frugal guru is Amy Dacyczyn, author of the Tightwad Gazette, a newslatter that ran for 6 years during the early 1990s. In one of these, she wrote about her realization that frugality and ecology overlapped in many ways, and that a lot of the things that she had been doing to save money were also green. Below is an insightful excerpt of what she wrote on the subject in an article titled “Thrift and the Environment”:
“I realized that economy and ecology are like two circles that overlap about 90%. The remaining 10% is the area where doing the right thing for the environment costs more. [Also], sometimes doing the right thing economically is not good for the environment. For example, the use of coupons and rebates can make an overly packaged product less expensive than its equivalent prepared from scratch. […]
But having successfully blended the areas of economy and ecology in the 90% area, we have found that we now have some surplus money, and this surplus gives us economic room to reexamine some of the areas within the 10%. […]
People tend to think that environmental damage occurs because of sloppy practices in some factories out there. In fact, we consumers create the demand for what the factories produce.”
For more on Amy and the Tightwad Gazette, see a review here. We encourage you to pick it up (or get it from the library!) and see if you can apply some of the tips to your life.
So with this in mind, don’t let anybody call you ‘cheap’ because you are following some of the tips from Planet Green. Saving money is just a side effect of being green!