It is a very common question and I’m here to answer it. Guess what? It can be either one. Living healthier and ‘greener’ is adjustable to your income. You can have it all or do with very little, it is possible to live green on both a $30,000 and a $300,000 income.
If you think you can’t afford a healthy lifestyle – I’ll be blunt, that’s just a bad excuse. Simple green living can save you money both in short and long term spending. Of course if money grows on trees for you, you can also go all out and live a luxuriously ‘green’ lifestyle.
Growing your own food: Not for everyone, but if you have some perseverance it is a very rewarding experience with a big bang for your buck. Some soil, some seeds, some water, some elbow grease, some time – ta da. Food.
Cooking from scratch: Processed food is expensive. Ditching prefabricated foods several years ago enabled us to spend those savings on good quality organic food instead (even then, we still pay less). Yes, I spend more time in the kitchen. With some advanced planning and cooking sessions, it is possible even if you work full time. Not to mention the taste and satisfaction can’t compare.
Cloth diapers: The math is easy, savings of at least $600 every year that you cloth diaper a baby. We’ve already saved more than $2,100, how about you?
Home made cleaners: No need in breathing toxic chemicals or spending money on indoor air pollution. Making your own cleaners is easy as pie and with so much competition even pre-made Eco cleaners are more affordable now.
Bike: Instead of driving short distances, ride the bike. Especially a no-brainer if you live close to everywhere you need to go.
Off-grid home (long term savings): A splurge at first, but big time savings in the long run. Of course if you don’t have anything to pay for the splurge with – it’s out of the question.
Hybrid car (long term savings): Again, a luxury with long term savings.
Camping: The cheapest and most Eco friendly way to vacation. It’s hard to beat accommodations for under $30 per night for the whole family. Not to mention the adventures are priceless.
DIY: You don’t always need to hire professionals for home projects. We’ve saved quite a few thousand dollars by doing things ourselves. Everything from laying flooring, painting walls, to changing your toilet can often be done without a professional. Use common sense of course and don’t take off work for projects, complete them in your spare time.
Giveaways: I have entered many giveaways and won things I otherwise wouldn’t be able to buy, from organic foods, to baby carriers, and organic clothing. It can be time consuming, but if it is something I really need or want I consider it worth my time. Winning is pretty rewarding too.
Organic Clothing: Pesticides in fabrics are no fun, not to mention sweatshops and the like. If you can afford organic clothing, your skin and health will thank you.
Organic Baby Gear: Yes, there is such a thing as a stroller with an organic seat. No, I can’t afford it, but if you can – do as you please. In general, organic baby clothing, organic bedding, non-toxic furniture, and other Eco gadgets tend to be more expensive.
Eco Restaurants: There is a positive trend in town, restaurants serving organic and local foods with top chefs in the kitchen.
Eat 100% Organic: We all would if we could. If I could afford to, this would be the first thing I would spend money on – high quality organic non-processed foods without anything genetically modified.
Eco-friendly House Maid: Extra disposable income or needing an extra hand? Go all out and hire an Eco-friendly cleaning company that doesn’t use chemicals. Clean house, fresh air, and your hands didn’t even tough a broom.
Off-grid home (initial investment): While living off grid would save you money in the long run, the initial investment is quite a splurge – for most of us at least.
Hybrid car (initial investment): You’ll pay more upfront, but savings on gas and incentives on a hybrid car can add up quickly.
Eco Tourism: Eco tourist spots are springing up everywhere from Africa to New Zealand. Expect to pay up, this is an expensive way to vacation.
Build a LEED home: A sustainable home with non-toxic finishes, materials, and furnishings – sure is nice to have. You can’t build one without hiring an architect, one that is LEED certified and experienced in designing such Eco-friendly dwellings.
Of course these are just a few ideas and the tip of the ice berg. How do you live green frugally or luxuriously?