Thursday, January 29, 2015
The Year of Green Frugality
Summer's over, school is back, and it's time to get back to work. And, in my case, to put my new year's resolutions up on the blog!
This year is all about saving. Saving money, and knocking that mortgage down, down, down, and saving the earth by being as environmentally friendly as we possibly can.
We've always been a pretty green-minded family, but the last couple of years have almost had me in a panic regarding the state of our earth. It is so disappointing to see our elected leaders sit on their hands whilst Rome, and everywhere else, burns.
However, there is plenty that I can do as an individual to reduce my impact. Not coincidentally, a lot of green ways are also very frugal ways, so I'm going to bring the two together and make this our Year of Green Frugality!
The rules are as follows:
- Abide by the 3 R's (reduce, reuse, recycle) as much as humanly possible.
- Think very long and hard before making a purchase. Nothing is to be bought unless it is truly needed. Ask the following questions: Do I really need this? Will it serve more than one purpose? Can it be passed on to others in good condition when we no longer require it?
- If the answer to any of those is yes, then the purchase can be made. It should be, however, at least one of the following: ethically made, second-hand and/or from an indie producer.
- Make as much as possible in the home. This will range from jam to clothes to laundry liquids. Not only will I be saving money, but I will value the things I have produced from high quality materials and will also be able to avoid environmentally destructive ingredients such as palm oil. This means that you'll probably be getting a hand-made or edible gift for your birthday. Hope you like it!
It all sounds a bit full-on, doesn't it? But truly, a lot of this is just about being more organised with my time. Mondays are going to be devoted to cleaning and cooking, so when I come home tired and stressed later in the week I can grab that pre-cooked meal from the freezer, rather than resorting to take-away and squillions of plastic containers. Which I will eat whilst admiring my mostly clean apartment. Win win!
Speaking of plastic, we are trying to avoid it as much as possible as well (like that time we went plastic-free). I'll be hitting up our local health food store and buying lots of our food from their bulk bins. It's going to be great - cooking as much as possible with fresh, non-packaged produce is going to be good for landfill AND good for my tummy!
I'm also on a mission to use up the craft supplies that I have here before even thinking about getting more. I have enough fabric for my wardrobe needs to last me a while, so I really want to work through that before I even think about justifying any new purchases. I had a major clean out last year of my fabrics and yarn, so the only things I have left have already been allocated to particular projects. Tyger will need some new things, though, so I'll have to just get my fabric kicks making things for her! I am banned from buying any new patterns, though - I have enough to sink a ship, and should really what I have. It's going to be tough, but I am determined not to crack!
We have also decided as a family to continue with some big hitting carbon reductions, such as remaining car free (using bikes, feet or public transport to get where we need to go) and to restrict meat to two meals a week, max, being veggie or vegan the rest of the time. The Galumph and I have also decided that rather than buying things for each other (things! things! the last thing we need is more things!) we will give experiences instead. Rather than a gift which we will have to find a home for and never end up using, we're going to go to concerts or exhibitions instead. My house will remain uncluttered, and I'll get a romantic night out with my husband. Ahhh, I'm liking the sound of this already!
So watch this space and see how we fare with our Year of Green Frugality. It's officially starting today - I'll keep you up to date here and on Instagram with our progress. If you have any tips or advice for me, please share - I'd love to hear your thoughts on ways we can reduce our impact!