Other than the obvious possible spiritual and/or personal moral or philosophical reasons, it seems like being conscientious of green technologies and such can cost more. But, I've been ﬁnding otherwise. I pay attention to money because it's often been scarce for me. Now that it's less so, I'm paying even closer attention to how to make it work for me as it comes in.
My parents were fairly conservative people. And yet, they did things that were green before it was widely considered important. I remember going with my Mom to the recycling center to drop oﬀ bottles, papers, and cans. You had to sort them yourself. I loved tossing the diﬀerent colored bottles into their appropriate dumpsters to hear them crash, and carrying the big stacks of twine-bound newspapers to the back of the giant open-end bin. I felt very useful for a little kid. My Dad was an economist, so he was aware of the eﬀect of certain things on the economy. For instance, he constantly made the point for dollar coins over paper money. They were more economical, as they lasted forever more or less. He'd present clients his brochures complete with a silver dollar glued to the front to illustrate his point. He'd also worked at the tire recycling plant while in basic training at the start of World War Two and was a fan recalled the need to reuse for the war eﬀort. I think he considered it wise in general thereafter. Growing up poor, he was well aware of the value of saving a buck and like any old man, he would remind my siblings and I of the value of the dollar every chance he got. Now I get to be the old man.
I've always huddled a little left of center through most of my life, so I have the usual tree-hugging tendencies. And as a Buddhist, the sanctity of life motivates me to consider our home planet with some respect. I'm also pragmatic. I also don't mind some of the accoutrements. Neither does my wife. Still, our newer model car is a Honda Civic, for the gas mileage and because it'll last until 2032 if the previous Civic was an indication. Newer cars when treated with care tend to pollute less, I'm told. I also enjoy the hellouta new technology. Interestingly, this leads to ways I save money while avoiding the use of paper and such.
I've been using scrap paper or notebooks from hotels where we stayed on tour for keeping track of income and cash expenditures that didn't present a receipt, for years. I can't remember the last time I actually bought a receipt book or notebook. I recently switched over to an app. Like I said, I love technology. Now, I use no paper, I accept no receipts unless they're automatically printed out (I then recycle them at home), and I save a ton of time. Time is money, right? Every day or two, I look at my app on my phone or computer. It tracks every transaction that goes through any of my bank or credit accounts, investment accounts, PayPal, etc. I can enter cash transactions from my phone. It also tracks all my mileage, so I'm no longer spending time looking it up or estimating, and writing it out on scraps of paper. The amount of time I save while not using resources beyond the charging of my phone or computer is noticeable. By the way, when I'm not using a device, cords are unplugged and power strips turned oﬀ. There's a noticeable savings on our electric bill. Small, but noticeable. I learned a lot from listening to and watching my Dad as a kid and young man. For instance, the ﬁrst, best way to increase your proﬁt is by lowering expenses. If you can do this without changing the quality of your product or service and are also able to therefore maintain a steady price point, you're going to outlast those who say, "Aw, it's tax deductible," and wonder later on why they have to raise their prices or neglect quality.
Here's the app I use. The link will get you a deal. See that, you're already saving money being green. Who said it ain't easy being green? Sorry, had to do it.
QuickBooks 50% oﬀ for First 6 Months http://fbuy.me/iZCno
I also use phone pay as much as possible. In my case, it's Samsung Pay. I barely use paper money anymore. More trees saved... or at least a few branches, ha. Samsung Pay gives points for using it. I just cashed in my points for about the third time. It gave me $20 on a virtual Visa gift card that I used to go buy groceries. I use one of our tote bags or reuse a plastic bag to avoid Chicago's 5-cent bag tax and whatever the stores charge. Although one store gives you a nickel when you bring your own bag.
I use Dollar Shave Club in order to use less plastic and because it's cheap! They have this awesome shave butter. I ﬁgured out how to make my own by doing a simple search. By getting larger containers, I use less in the way of resources. When I'm done making the recipe, I put the latest batch into a jar I've previously emptied of its contents through usage. Oh, be sure you don't stir this recipe with a plastic spoon or you'll end up recycling it! I learned the hard way. It melted! It is boiling oil, after all. Live and learn.
The Recipe I Used for HomeMade Shave Butter (Cheaper than Dollar Shave Club and I Used 100% Organic)
I've also done the calculations on products I use a lot and found that I can use fewer containers (less resources) and save a sh*t-ton of cash. For instance, one small container of extra virgin olive oil when multiplied many times over to equal a gallon costs something like $35 more than just buying the gallon can! Don't feel like pulling the gallon can oﬀ the shelf every time you cook? Just use a small jar that you've cleaned from some other product and decant it. That's what we do. Take cues from restaurants. They do that all the time. If you enjoy cooking and think there's limited time to do so because you're busy, consider this: The amount of time you wait at a restaurant is about equal to the time it takes you to put together a healthy (and organic non-gmo, etc, if you like) meal for a fraction of the price. Leftovers won't be using styrofoam or plastic containers if you're at home. We reuse a ton. When I'm home alone working and take lunch, I enjoy taking the time to read up on something or somebody and inevitably end up with more information to share with all y'all. Of course, like anyone else, I also enjoy getting out of the house. So, there are still walks over to the cafe. Walks... who knows, I may be saving on health costs by getting my exercise and not using more gas? It's worth hoping so.
When I initially looked at some of these cost saving/more green ideas, I was worried that I might not always have the $30 or more on hand to buy a gallon of this or large quantity of what-have-you. I found that the one-time expenditure freed up money down the line and it gradually builds into literally hundreds of dollars saved annually. I take that and invest it. Speaking of which...
I use Stash (Stashinvest.com) to invest, because I'm middle class and don't have big dough lying around. Here's more info on that...
I choose mutual funds that I believe in. Here's another way I've proﬁted by being green. In low-risk mutual funds with names like Clean and Green, Do The Right Thing, and Combatting Carbon, I'm currently averaging a great deal more than any savings account or certiﬁcate of deposit will ever yield. As I write this, these three are averaging 4% between them. Remember, it's the market and ﬂuctuates. I still keep a regular savings account, as does my wife. You can start investing on Stash with $5. I did. I have a lot more now. They have a bunch of tools for learning about this stuﬀ. Use this link and you'll get $5 to start with.
We could each win $2k a piece from Stash if you sign up: Get Stash Invest
Lastly, I like plants. I buy very few. Mostly, I cultivate them from clippings and even the seeds of fruit we've consumed at home. It's fun and relaxing. I have date palms and an avocado tree from seeds and I'm about to start a couple peach trees. Yes, you can grow these indoors. Half our regular house plants come from clippings. I put them in, you guessed it, jars I've cleaned and ﬁlled with water, until they sprout roots. Then I use everything from cool-looking jars to vases or pots I ﬁnd at the thrift stores to plant them for the long term. For fertilizer I use coﬀee grounds or leftover brewed coﬀee, epsom salts, and can also use banana peels or egg shells. Look it up online for more details. Coﬀee grounds, once used and rinsed again, are neutral... not acidic nor alkaline. Epsom salts are basically Miracle Grow. So, once again, I'm reusing stuﬀ and not spending money. I'm getting to where I have so many plants, I'm able to give away newly potted ones as gifts. Anyone want a house plant?
None of this has to be hard to do or a great big stretch. Every money-saving move we make is like any other habit we form. It can take a few months to become second nature. So, be patient with yourself. It'll get to the point that you barely think about it.
Lastly, I've been reading and hearing a lot from the big money people like Bill Gates and Richard Branson that says businesses have to pay attention to their carbon footprint and show that they care about being green and similar social concerns (even if they don't, ha), or people are less inclined to do business with them. So, it pays one way or another to be greener.
Now that you know I'm a green business, remember that you can get involved in what I do. Join me on Patreon. Become a patron of the arts. There's tons more info and advise where this came from and I share it all with my patrons. They also help me decide what to do with the money, recently helped me choose a new logo for my re-branded record label Guilt By Association Records as I get it ready to work as a sort of co-op, and everyone gets rewards that extend beyond the simple satisfaction of investing in the arts.
I hope you'll join us: http://patreon.com/gbarecords
Peace and the arts, Phil