Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Green on the Cheap: APLS Carnival Round-up

Welcome to the revived APLS Carnival! This month's theme was "green on the cheap" - in other words, balancing sustainability with smaller pocketbooks. If the recession's got you down, no worries! We've got some great ideas to get you motivated again.

Speaking from experience.
Several APLS'ers shared openly how their family overcame or averted a financial crisis by simply living more frugally.

Abbie at Farmers Daughter shares her evolution in going greener and living more frugally, giving three easy ways to pare back expenses and live more sustainably. Read her post to see how she saved $7,000 last year alone! Impressive!

Heather at Simple-Green-Frugal shares her life of voluntary simplicity and how she got there. "I believe it is in times of crisis that we discover what we're truly made of," she writes. Read on to her comments - she's so simplified her life that she could make a move with only her compact car - taking one trip! I'd love to hear more about how she was able to pare down - our family has a long way to go!

Another Heather, at Heather's Homemaking, offers simple ways her family was able to live more frugally so she could stay at home with her children. I think I'm going to have to figure out how to make the cloth napkins - what a great idea!

Steph at Greening Families shares how her family overcame debt by following the three R's. "Anything that broke or wore out was examined for possible other uses and most of the time there were multiple possibilities," she writes. As an example, she shares ways to get new life out of old pants.

I come clean on how my family's financial crisis has impacted our lifestyle choices and admit to wondering whether I'm being good somedays simply because I must. "Like a dieter who’s craving chocolate, I think about the things I want to buy but are simply out of reach at this time."

Spending smart.
Perhaps any future problems will be averted just by watching how we use the resources we have.

At the Green Adventures of a Big City Girl, Heather cost-comparisons shopping while cutting coupons with buying locally from CSAs and other local vendors. "I was a big coupon clipper. I mean BIG. Like I had a big binder filled with baseball card sleeves of thoroughly organized coupons," she writes. "I had no idea I could do this and actually NOT spend more money than I used to on groceries. Cheap, unhealthy, processed, full-of-pesticide-and-fake-ingredients groceries. And I'm really enjoying the process of learning about new vegetables and introducing them to my family. Dinner is an adventure every night and so much fun to be trying new things."

Kellie at Greenhab shares the challenges of greener birthday party planning when the guest of honor thrives on Chuck-E-Cheese. "I decided to stop hanging my head in shame when my son's birthday came up, and to put my money where my mouth was. Or...put my money back in my wallet and put my conscience where my mouth was. Something like that," she writes.

The Conscious Shopper at the Green Phone Booth admits to her green envy but realizes that prevention can be the best policy when it comes to waste. "Going green can be expensive - at least in some ways - but sometimes the greenest path is also the cheapest," she writes. "And once I realized that, my green envy subsided, and I was able to get creative with what I have."

Lisa at Retro Housewife Goes Green talks about the toughest lesson of learning to be more sustainable: That buying less truly is more. "Green has become so mainstream everywhere you look is some new product telling you how it will help you be more green when most of the time we don't need it," she writes.

Beany at the Middle Way, who admits to "being a tightwad when it was uncool," waxes on how we've put our money where our mouth was and what morals our economy has supported. "I think a strong evaluation of the new American values is long over due. I think people do need to think long and hard at what it means ...when one can zip 100 miles to a job with no consideration of that mode of transit is doing to the environment that surrounds us. Who benefits when one can buy apples for $0.10/lb from Guatamela. Why does one have to maintain vigilant eye on what product is currently the subject of a salmonella outbreak?"

CRSTN85 writes about how you can help the economy and the environment at the same time. "It should be second nature to check in with neighbors to see if they could use something you're getting rid of, and if not, it should be donated rather than left by the curb where hopefully someone will take it before the trash pick up date," she writes.

Thanks to those of you who participated in this month's carnival! Look for September details to be posted shortly on the APLS blog.

8-20: My apologies to Jenni at Web of Life! I'd forgotten to include her in the initial post. Check out her tips on being green while saving green, from thrift-store shopping to investing in microfiber cloths. "Basically, I spend next to nothing to keep my house clean. Now if only I could get somebody to clean it…" she writes.


Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

Thanks again for starting this carnival back up. I've missed it!

Green Bean said...

Aw, can't wait for the kids to go to bed so that I can read through all these posts. Great topic!

Farmer's Daughter said...

Can't wait to read them all!

Thanks for organizing it!

Steph @ Greening Families said...

You restarted the carnival and posted it a day ahead of schedule - impressive! Thanks so much for all your work!

The Mom said...

Thanks for all your work. I'm having a great time going through all the posts.