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5 Ways To Save Money Living Green

As the price of gas and groceries go through the roof, inflation tops the list of Canadian families' concerns as they struggle to meet the ever-increasing demands on their ever-decreasing buying power. Among the list of growing concerns is the state of the planet as reports from all corners of the globe tell of flooding, drought, famine, and a host of other climate disasters exacerbated by reckless consumerism and a society that thrives on disposable conveniences. Whether you're looking for ways to save money or ways to save the planet there are hundreds of small ways that you can go green and save money. Let's dive right in and learn how to save money by living green, and put a few extra dollars back in our pockets, while we join thousands of others making small but meaningful changes that collectively can make a huge difference to the health and wealth of the planet.

1. Use Libraries

This seems like an old idea long past its best before date but libraries are not just for books anymore and the library concept is evolving to include services and goods that go far beyond the traditional services associated with the local library. For the do-it-yourselfer or the homeowner that needs to tackle a few minor repairs, amassing a complete tool set is costly and unnecessary when membership at your local tool library can provide access to every tool you will ever need for a fraction of the cost. They often have knowledgeable staff and classes to help you complete any project on your to-do list. Learning to repair items keeps them working longer and keeps them out of the landfill. There may be other library type concepts in your community providing additional ways to save money.

2. Quit The Gym

Artificial movement in an artificially constructed environment with all the associated classes, memberships, and apparel can cost hundreds of dollars a month. Our ancestors did not spend much time in the gym and by historical photos, we can see they carried quite a bit less in the way of additional poundage. The great outdoor offers everything we need to maintain a healthy physical body but also provides additional mental benefits that surpass what can be gained under the artificial lights of an indoor gym. Recent studies indicate that those who spend at least two hours a week in nature suffer less anxiety, decrease their blood pressure, and benefit from a myriad of other tangible health benefits. Get outside, get walking. go green and save money.

3. Grow A Garden

Pineapples in the grocery store in February have traveled thousands of miles from Mexico, or even further abroad, to appear ripe and juicy on our shelves while waist-deep snow blankets the parking lot outside. The fuel required to ship these exotic fruits and vegetables across the world is unaffordable and the carbon costs to the environment are unsustainable. Growing a full garden may seem daunting or you may not have a yard but there are windowsill gardens that can significantly reduce your herb and salad greens expense. Container gardens can produce a surprising amount of fruits and vegetables that provide food at a reasonable cost and help to alleviate your carbon footprint as the cost, both financial and environmental, to transport your food from your yard to your plate is negligible. How to save money by living green you ask? Get growing.

4. Hedges Not Fences

We grow trees, then cut them down, mill the wood into lumber, spray it with chemicals, build fences, tear them down, and repeat them every 15 years. Our obsession with manicured lawns and crisp boundaries between our lawns, gardens, and neighbours are not the environment in which nature thrives. Hedges soak up water and help to alleviate flooding which will only become more important to mitigate against as our climate changes. Hedges provide a habitat for animals and pollinators while also acting as natural roads for animals to navigate from natural areas and Greenlands which helps to decrease habitat loss. Planting a hedge is one of the best ways to save money as it has a real and immediate effect on the animals that you share the world with.

5. Become A Minimalist

The easiest way to decrease consumption and end the millions of pounds of garbage that finds its way into our landfills the world over is to simply consume less. Not everyone can diminish their possessions down to a begging bowl but we could all be more intentional in our daily purchases. Taking 24 hours to think about purchases will have you second-guessing most of what you buy and your wallet will fill as landfills are starved of useless junk. Old timey frugality and thrift are the names of the game now which is great for both our finances and the environment.

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