Friday Forum: Small Budget vs Small Footprint

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Howdy! I’m curious to see your responses to today’s question, so I’ll jump right in. Generally, I think that living green is also budget friendly. Example: line drying clothes. It is not only easy on the environment since the dryer isn’t running, but you’re also saving electricity and a little bit o cash at the same time. Win-win. But sometimes the “small footprint” option is more expensive. Example: buying a higher-end, greener dish soap, laundry soap or driving a hybrid car is more pricey than conventional choices. So here’s the Friday Forum:

If a decision comes down to choosing between your small budget vs small footprint, which will you generally lean towards?

(Note: this might be a bit of a trick question, so I can’t wait to hear your wisdom!) 🙂  Chat away in the comments, friends!

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  • Kim
    January 31, 2014

    When it is something I can DO to help the environment, I am usually all for it. For instance, I have only used the dryer once since last spring, due to warmer temperatures and less rain. Moreover, because of the lack of rain, I am reusing my rinse water from dishwashing to water plants. Also, I recycle. However, I do not usually buy products because of their “greenness,” with the exception of Ivory soap, which is biodegradable, I believe. Sorry, I can’t afford it.

  • Jenifer
    January 31, 2014

    Well, in my experience, most green things are both. There might be an exception in food, though.

    You gave two examples above — cleaning and cars.

    We only use apple cider vinegar, baking soda, sodium per carbonate (powdered peroxide), and castile soap. These are inexpensive and can be purchased in bulk — and can be used for both household and personal most care cleaning. So, in this instance, green is budget!

    With a car, you’re weighing a lot of elements such as how much you drive, how much maintenance need to do (and whether it needs to be done by another or can be done by you, etc), the starting and continuing costs of the car itself.

    So, greenest and cheapest would be to go car free if you can. And if you can’t, then going car-light (say, having a compact car and driving once a week and walking/biking/public transport/car pool otherwise). You might even consider a car-share if you are only using the car once a week.

    If you have a long commute and cannot move (also an expensive undertaking), then you need to look at fuel efficiency and maintenance costs as part of the overall costs. A hybrid could be great for saving you money this way — over the long term — but a good compact car will also get good mileage (not as high as a hybrid). And if you buy used, you’re doing something both green and budget friendly (again).

    For the most part, I find that what is most frugal is generally what is most green. It nearly always works out that way.

    • Kim
      January 31, 2014

      Thank you, Jennifer. I gleaned from what you wrote that when it comes to purchasing, sometimes “not” spending is just as green as is spending on “green” things, cars or otherwise. Thanks for the tips.

      • Jenifer
        February 1, 2014

        Exactly. If you can do without, it’s not only frugal, but earth-friendly.

    • Evelyn
      January 31, 2014

      Awesome thoughts, Jenifer! I was suspecting that most of you would offer this same conclusion… that generally green and cheap dovetail nicely. Thanks for sharing more specific considerations though. 🙂 Always love what you have to say!

  • Katie
    February 1, 2014

    If I have the money I always go small footprint.
    That being said there have been times when we have had no money, and if we can’t go without I will buy the cheaper one( non organic food, for example ).

    • Evelyn
      February 1, 2014

      We are kinda the same way, Katie. Thanks for piping up! 🙂

  • 200 pips per day
    January 4, 2015

    Wheen I originally commented I seem to have clickked the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time
    a comment iis added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment.
    Perhaps there is a way you aree able to remove me from that service?

    Thank you!

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