This past year, my lazy green journey has generally led to the formation of habits which are not only healthy for my body, and nice to the planet, but save me a bit of money too. I buy less stuff – such as clothes, toiletries and gadgets – and save on things like petrol, electricity and heating bills. I’ve banked hundreds of pounds a year from carrying my own water bottle and shopping bags; all in the name of throwing away less, and saving more.
But an interesting thing happened this week, when I had to go over every inch of my outgoings, in order to penny pinch in preparation for my upcoming backpacking trip. At a point when I’ve realised my savings budget has been dipped into one too many times, I need to save big time if I’m going to live the dream in less than 8 months time. But how do you save even more money, when you already feel like a budget conscious cave woman living a life of little frivolity?
This was where my discovery came in. After looking at the things I spend the most money on, I realised my desire for organic, vegan, ethical and generally non mainstream products was costing me a lot. Though my organic veg boxes are fairly reasonable in comparison to supermarket bought organics – and I buy groceries in bulk online where possible – there’s no denying that a diet of seeds, nuts, tofu, and organic veg is pricey! My taste for the yummy, varied and exotic has been costing me dearly too; especially when I use things like lemongrass, lime leaves, ginger, chilli and cashew nuts like they’re going out of fashion. A tin of baked beans once in a while could be in order to save my bank balance from a foodie heart attack!
But food isn’t the only thing my money gets sucked to like a magnet. Though I rarely treat myself to make-up and toiletries, those I do buy are often double the price of their less green counterparts. Being as generally lazy as I am, I haven’t mastered the art of make-it-yourself when it comes to scrubs and potions, and I’m still a sucker for gorgeous scents. But when it comes to washing my hair with bicarbonate of soda for 8 months, in order to spend 8 months sunning myself in South East Asia; a girls gotta do what she’s gotta do!
It totally is possible to be green and poor, but I can’t afford to be lazy too! I have to stop buying into the consumerist green market that is building momentum, and simply do more myself! So I’m sticking up photos of my final goal on my fridge for inspiration, and I’m gonna nail this budget green living. No matter how hard it’s going be, I just need to keep reminding myself of here: