Honestly, it can be hard, but you just have to do the best you can. Eventually things you thought you couldn’t do/afford/give up will seem like a breeze after training yourself to think about things differently. You have to really think about every decision you make. Do I really need to turn the ac/heat on? Do I really need to drive or can I walk here? When I go grocery shopping, I try to think about buying food like this: if I can’t afford the organic/sustainable/non-gmo, whatever, maybe I should think twice about whether or not I can afford that item. Sometimes getting that more expensive organic item isn’t an option, especially if you have a family. But if you can buy less and instead buy organic, soon that might not seem like a sacrifice.
Also, being frivolous can lead to being green. The less you buy, the less stuff needs to be produced. Buying used clothes/books/appliances/furniture instead of new is green and economic. Growing your own food, if that’s an option, would be very beneficial. Turning out lights, unplugging things, and using your car less are all ways that you can save money by being green.
I fully agree with sdasher about buying used goods. If you have never been to a thrift store, I highly recommend it! You might be surprised at all the high-quality items you can find. I got most of my kitchen supplies from thrift stores when I moved into my first apartment for college. Plus, I enjoy having a wide variety of plates and cups so I can pick whichever one suits my mood.
Also, buying things in large quantities is a good way to save money and reduce the amount of packaging that goes to the landfill. Keep in mind the surface area to volume ratio. A larger package typically produces less waste for the amount of product you are getting. In many grocery stores, you can find a “price per ounce” stated in small print. This is the price you want to use when you are comparing different brands and package sizes.
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