Monday, June 16, 2008

The 3 R's of being Frugal and Green - Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Hi again!

Thinking about Alison's post earlier (here), being frugal and green is definitely not easy. That being said, its not too hard, if you are willing to get creative!

The #1 rule of being green is Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Come to think about it, this is the number one rule of frugality too!

Reduce - From a green perspective, this means reduce your consumption... Use only what you need, and no more. From a frugal perspective, it means reduce your spending! Buy only what you must buy, and no more! So we want to reduce our use of items, and also our spending, and these two go hand in hand! Use causes wear and tear, and could lead to breakage, which leads to having to replace things. Not to say that you shouldn't use the things you have, but use them as necessary!
A great example of this is laundry. Are your dress clothes really dirty after you come home from work? Maybe if you were sweating on the job at a construction site, but sitting in the office at a desk? You can probably wear those clothes again. When I get home from work I strive to take my dress clothes right off, and hang them up towards one side of my closet, in the once worn section. Obviously, all is moot if I've spilled something on myself, into the hamper it goes. You may still have to do laundry weekly, but odds are you will have fewer loads, and your clothes will last longer if you wash them less! Washing is the main cause of wear and tear on most clothing.

Reuse - Reuse things as much as you can - the more you reuse them, the longer you can hold off without throwing it away. Eat lots of jam? Reuse the jars to hold nails or small parts (or crafts). This saves the environment, because your things aren't in the trash, and it saves you money, because you didn't have to buy something to store your nails in! Reusing can be a great way to be both green and frugal. A great way to reuse items is through Craigslist or Freecycle! If you won't use something, other people might! These websites are also a great way to get something you need for free or cheap!
A good example of this is Alison's situation from Friday's post (here). She got a bunch of free samples, which if she was also green in her choices, are things she would already use, but that she just got for free. I must confess, I also got the Charmin toilet paper dispensers. I must confess, I never would have bought something like this, I have a perfectly good toilet paper dispenser. However, when the roll is new, I have trouble unrolling toilet paper, and, combined with the free-factor, I decided that it was worth it to save me the hassle of peeling my TP one sheet at a time. Everyone has to decide if the green trade off is worth it every time they get a freebie, but to me it was. Addressing the excess of packaging that comes with free samples a great way to reuse this would be as padding! Tear the cardboard boxes into small pieces, bunch the plastic wrapping into a ball, and put them in a plastic bag... Next time you have to send something, instead of going out and buying bubble wrap, use shredded cardboard! Though you may want to remove you personal information from them first, depending on who you are sending it to. On the other hand, you could just recycle the cardboard. Which brings me to number three.

Recycle - Recycling is also both frugal and green. Frugal, because, lets face it, a nickel back for every soda i drink is a lot of money! Now, to be truly frugal, I am trying to cut way down on my soda drinking, and hopefully give it up altogether, but the caffeine addiction makes it a slow process. My goal is to have quite completely by the end of the month. Recycling is Green, well, because it reduces the amount of raw materials necessary to create new products!

So I guess the message of my post is Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle! It's frugal, it's green, and it's just plain smart!


P.S. If you have a Shaws near you, you may want to check out their deal on Near East Couscous! They are going for 10 for $10, which is a steal, but combined with the manufacturers coupon (here), they are free! Shaws automatically doubled this manufacturers coupon for me. I'll be going back to stock up on more couscous before Thursday, which is when they sale cycle at Shaws this week ends!
The Tylenol website (here) has a coupon for $1 off any Tylenol product. As Alison mentioned Friday, this is good at Target, but it is also good at CVS too! Check your local store's travel section.


  1. I have a blog devoted to just this subject- being green and saving green. Check it out-

  2. Thanks very much for your comment! I will definitely check out your site!


  3. Excellent! Thanks for the post. I totally think there's enough "stuff" in my house. I have to be better organized so I can use what I have and not feel the need to consume more.

    Thanks for the Twitter heads up on this!

  4. It's definitely hard to get rid of stuff, it is something I struggle with constantly :P

  5. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. :-)