Posts Tagged ‘organic’

Earth Day Every Day Saves You Money

Earth Day…

On the first Earth Day I “celebrated” with my kids a friend, her 5-year old son, my 5-year old son, 1-year old daughter in a stroller and I went into a little tiny strip of wilderness area that stretched along side a street we used to frequently walk along, and we picked up the trash.  I can’t recall how many bags full of garbage we collected, but we were astonished at how much there had been in such a small space, and the kids were really proud that the work they did would help keep the little forest they knew so well healthier and more beautiful. Unfortunately, the following year, the little forest was full of litter and trash again, which I found so discouraging I didn’t have the heart to show my little son how fruitless his previous year’s noble efforts had been, and I hit the wall of disillusionment in the Earth-day clean-up activity arena, so instead, I think we planted a tree that year for Earth Day.

Littering is a huge pet-peeve of mine.  I wish it was for more people out there.  Not only is it an immense eye-sore, but litter presents personal health and world wide environmental pollution hazards, and even though I hadn’t even considered this 20 years ago, now I know that it  filters through our whole economy, creating a tremendous impact on national budgets, taxes, fees, and real estate values… all of which are paid for by YOU… it all ends up coming right out of YOUR wallet.

Bag Monster Blog, a site devoted to eliminating plastic bag use, quotes Heal The Bay, an environmental group dedicated to cleaning and sustaining the Santa Monica Bay in Southern California, who sites the following statistics: The total cost of litter collection, disposal and enforcement in the U.S. is estimated to be at least $11.5 BILLION annually. Businesses bear the burden of this cost, spending $9.1 BILLION annually and representing 79.5% of the total cost of litter abatement. Just consider for a second the lower prices we might be appreciating if business didn’t have to foot such an enormous bill, and what amazing, wonderful, and productive things might be accomplished with that money!

Placing trash in trash bins instead of littering will reduce these costs, but recycling further reduces expenditures, and is even more ecologically sound — and re-using and re-purposing promotes all around further savings.  Check the fascinating recycling facts posted on A Recycling Revolution.

While my experience with cleaning up that little neighborhood woodlands was a bit discouraging, it did not hamper my caring about the the fragility of our planet, and along with cost-consciousness, an eco-consciousness has found its way into just about everything I do.  I still have a long way to go, and it may feel daunting at times but , unlike 20 years ago, now it is easy to find resources, like EarthDay.org, and Keep America Beautiful, that are devoted to making it easier for us keep the world healthier, cleaner, safer, and more beautiful, while keeping our our wallets happier too!

Jamie, SLTV

Catch these Money-Saving and Earth-Friendly Related Videos:

Being Frugal:  The Original sustainability? – Author of The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better, Chris Farrell

Cleaners, Make Your Own – Kimberly Danger, founder of Mommysavers

Clothes Swap – Melissa Massello of Shoestring Magazine & Amy Chase of Punkystyle Blog

Energy Efficiency Tips - Host of “House Smarts” TV show, Lou Manfredini

Freecycling: Household Items for Free - coordinator for Freecycle New York City, Christina Salvi

Gasoline Money: Inflate Tires & Save - Global energy products and eco blog, Eco 20-20

Grow an Organic Garden: Save Money - Research editor of Organic Gardening Magazine, Pam Ruch

House Cost Saving Tips, Eco-Friendly - Interior designer, Libby Langdon

Household Eco Products Save Money - Josh Dorfman, host of The Lazy Environmentalist TV show

Live Richly & Frugal Forever – Founder of the Tightwad Gazette, and Frugal For Life blog, Amy Dacyzyn

Refrigerator & Freezer Eco & Savings Tips – Home enviornmentalist expert, Danny Seo

Shop Organic Money Saving Tips - Author of Georgously Green and TV host, Sophie Uliano

Uncle Sam Sells Cheap, All About Gov’t. Auctions - Stacey Johnson host of Money Talks News

World Travel for Free While Helping to Grow the Organic Movement - World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farms,  WWOOF

Link to this article: http://is.gd/vYW4TG

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Does Buying a Bag of Cheese Puffs Really Matter?

We’re joining in on change.org’s Blog Action Day - drawing attention to FOOD.

One of the tenets of growing personal wealth or trying to hold onto savings, is to try to get the most out of everything. Value does not always mean more expensive, and unconscious wastefulness is equal to throwing money away.

There are two absolute necessities for life: food and water. And yet, when it comes to saving money, food is often one of the first places many people think of to try to cut back to find savings.  Why? Because it’s the one thing we absolutely must spend money on every day.

So, to save what can add up for some to be hundreds of dollars a month, we become aware of how much we are spending or over-spending on food and devise ways to receive the most we can from the fewest dollars spent. Some of the ways we can achieve this is by growing our own food or shopping local farmer’s markets. But we also spend hours researching sales and promotions, using coupons, stocking up and planning menus ahead based on what is going on sale at the grocery store, which can add up to some real savings.  But what foods, exactly, are we saving money on?

Does getting it for less mean we should be getting it at all? Does being able to get it for less mean we should be oblivious to how our food choices affect the world on a broader scale? What does it matter to us if buying a bag of empty calorie, chemical laden, processed cheese-like puffs and tossing the half-finished non-biodegradable bag into the trash may waste fuel, waste water, overtax landfills, promote pollution, affect the climate, impact the world’s food supply, contribute to the destruction of local farms and the undernourishment of neighbors right in our own towns?

It matters for many reasons, but these three simple reasons should be enough for anyone:

1) Saving money. Preparing your own meals, bringing your lunch to work or school, buying from local providers and farmers, and using fresh unprocessed food is cheaper and saves you money. As simple as that.

2) Getting nourishment from as close to the original source as possible (as opposed to a preservative & chemical drenched, nutrient-absent over-processed something-or-other out of a box shipped half-way across the world), is healthier, conserves natural resources, and causes less waste and pollution.

And, 3) Sometimes what is better for our local community may ultimately end up being better for everyone, which includes YOU and ME.

A simple example of how what’s good for a few can ultimately benefit the many is how organic foods and bulk-bin selections are now becoming widely available as a regular feature at conventional supermarkets all over the U.S. and at more affordable prices. This is largely due to shopper demand, stemming back from the little grass-roots 1960′s neighborhood co-op food movements. More vending machines and corner markets have fresh fruits and vegetables available now. More neighborhood farmer’s markets are re-emerging. The food choices you make do make a difference.

But what about the food we waste? What does that matter? Some have been around long enough to remember being a member of “The Clean Plate Club” and hearing parents and grandparents chant at every meal, “Are you a member of the Clean Plate Club? Eat everything on your plate, there are people starving in Europe.” This was not intended to get people to consume more, but rather to be more thoughtful about not wasting food and over-indulging between meals. That campaign was created 94 years ago to ensure that the limited amount of food America had as a result of World War I didn’t go to waste. It re-emerged in 1947 after the Great Depression and World War II, when food was again scarce and resources needed to be conserved as the country tried to help those struggling to recover from the war’s effects overseas. And of course, parents also conveniently gravitated to it as an easy way to  remind kids to be more appreciative of what they had.

In previous posts I’ve written about how eliminating one plastic zipper on rice packages saved thirty-thousand tons of landfill waste a month, and how eliminating or even cutting back on consuming bottled water can save an average family almost three-thousand dollars a year, not to mention reducing the stress on landfills and saving fuel. As I have mentioned several times in the past, I am not a frugal fanatic, but I also don’t like unconscious waste. I wondered, if those two little things could make such a huge positive impact, then what about that “Clean Plate Club – Don’t Waste Your Food” mentality? Does not wasting the food one has purchased really help the world and the food supply at large or not?

Luckily for me, Treehugger.com has already done the work, and they summarize just what a tremendous and far-reaching impact wasting food can have in their eye-opening articles: Discarding Food Wastes More Water than Showering, and  The Impact of Food Waste on Climate Change (and just about everything else), and Study Finds Half of All Food Produced Worldwide is Wasted. Here are just a couple of highlights:

  • 2 BILLION people could be fed for a year with the amount the U.S.A. alone throws away each year.
  • Food waste in the U.S.A. accounts for 1/4 of all freshwater consumption.
  • Decaying food in landfills produces polluting methane gas. If we simply stopped wasting food, it would be the equivalent of taking a quarter of all the cars in America off the road.

We know there are both “believers” and “non believers” on the climate and global warming issues – we won’t go round and round on that, but there’s no doubt that a waste-not-want-not attitude will never serve you wrong and won’t hurt your neighbors next door or around the world. That said, sadly, not everyone will be motivated to simply want to do a good thing by wasting less and being more conscious of food sources. The bottom line for many is this phrase used repeatedly by my 10th grade history teacher to describe the ultimate motivation behind just about every political and social decision, ”The power of the purse.” Being conscious of the quality of and process by which you receive your daily bread, and what you do with it when you are finished with it, is not only eco-friendly and world-friendly, but health-wise and ultimately wallet-wise as well.

Creative ways to  get the most from your food and budget in our posts:

Why Bank of America Employees are Bringing Their Lunches To Work

The Miracle Money Saving Healthy Grocery Shopping Tip

Vegetables Save You Money

8 Fresh Food Saving Ideas to Stretch Your Produce Dollars

Save More Money – Break the Bottled Water Habit

Use Earth Day Eco Saving Pointers Every Day, and You’ll Save Money

Beware of the Blueberry Scam

And for money-saving shopping, recipes, and serving ideas see our channels:

Link to this article: http://is.gd/ps34Gs

 

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Give (and Get: Travel Discounts & FREEbies)

sltv blog post: Give (and Get [discounts and freebies])

Give (and Get)
Here are three easy ways you can make a difference
by giving some volunteer time (and getting some fun and travel at discount rates or even for free, in return!)

Give a Day, Get a Disney Day, where 1 million people who give a day to help others in 2010 will get free admission to Walt Disney World, you could be one of them! Offer Expired

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You can get travel discounts and freebies through the Sage Hotel Group’s Give a Day Get a Night promotion. Just complete 8 hours of volunteer service to a registered 501(c)3 non profit organization by March 29, 2010 to qualify to receive 50% off the published room rate — or maybe a complimentary night (limited availability) at all 53 Sage hotels (Marriott, Starwood, and Hilton) across the country. Offer expired

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Here’s an opportunity to travel across the world and stay for free. Through a program offered by the World Wide Organization Of Organic Farmers, (aka: Wondering WWOOF) you can connect with communities across the globe that will offer you food and accomodation in exchange for work participation. You ‘ll experience cultural adventure while helping the environment. Work in areas of organic gardening from working with animals to wine making.  Started in the UK in 1971, WOOF has since become an international movement that is helping people share more sustainable ways of living.

More in this Video Clip:

For more easy ways you can keep on making a difference:Check out our blog post:

Link to this article: http://is.gd/0Gwgnk



 

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