There are a lot of misperceptions about being green and living sustainably, and one of the biggest is that it's expensive. Supposedly only the wealthy can afford to think about the environment.
But like a lot of conventional wisdom, it's just not true. In fact, a lot of "green" choices are frugal as well. Here are a just a few examples:
1. Local produce. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the average food item travels 1500 to 2500 miles to get to your supermarket, while local produce is usually grown within 200 miles. That saves transportation and fuel costs, along with all those carbon emissions. So the produce is usually less expensive and it almost always tastes better. Because of our CSA delivery experience, I can attest to that. Plus, many small local growers don't use pesticides or artificial ripeners, which keeps chemicals out of the soil.
2. Turning out the lights, using water-saving faucets and showerheads, and keeping the thermostat at a reasonable temperature are all energy savers that'll save you money as well.
3. Buying secondhand, borrowing, or bartering will not only reduce your carbon footprint, it'll plump up your bank account. So joining The Compact is certainly green, but it's definitely not expensive. And there's no sign-up fee!
Of course, buying "organic" produce at high-end markets and "eco-friendly" fashion can break your budget, but that's not the only way to be "green."
What "green" options have you incorporated into your lifestyle that are also frugal? I love it when they don't conflict and I don't have to choose one or the other. Please leave your examples in the Comments section.