Green Tip 6 - Frugality Pays


Most people have heard of the 3 R's of Recycling Reduce, Reuse, Recycling. Well, reduce has a lot to do with being frugal. Frugality is being careful with your resources, using or managing them wisely, not using as much. Being frugal with your resources will guarantee you monetary savings and savings to the environment as well.

A recent overnight stay at someone's house inspired this week's green tip. When I stepped into the shower at the house I was visiting, I was shocked by how many shampoo, cream rinses, body wash, shaving cream containers were lining the shower (there were about 15 bottles). Then, when I stepped out of the shower I found about 10 or so bottles of lotions and cleansers covering the bathroom counter. I wondered if all of these would ever get completely used up, or if another "new" and "catchy" aroma, flavor, name or style would take the place of these poor second place items, with still a lot of product left in them.

This house is not the first house I have seen this excessive purchasing of body care products. With fancy and gimmicky marketing, we are trained to always look for the newer, better item. This attitude doesn't just apply to body care products, but to our food, cleaning products, clothing and other items we use a lot. Unfortunately with this comes a lot of waste waste in product and waste in container (most of which are made of plastic in the case of body care, food items and cleaning products) and, trust me, a lot of waste in money. This is money that everyone could really use, especially nowadays with rising costs of goods and services.

In addition to making excessive purchases, we have become so wasteful as a society that we just dump globs of things out of containers, be it shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, sunscreen, condiments, dressings, or cleaning products. We buy so many clothes we don't wear. It's amazing how many people purchase clothes just because an item is on sale. These items sit in their closets with the tags on, forgotten about. Eventually, they might make it somewhere where they will be used, a hand-me-down, thrift store usually outdated at this point.

This week's green tip is a lesson in frugality. Try to look at everything you do this week in a different way. When you shampoo your hair, brush your teeth, put on lotion, clean your house, think about how much you really need to get the job done. Reduce the amount of product you let slip out of a container. When you make your coffee or a meal, think about how much you really will consume and just make enough so that you will use it all. Before you buy another item that looks really tempting, ask yourself if you already have something like it that needs to be used up first.

Please don't forget to teach your children and grandchildren how to be thriftier. They are the ones who will inherit a cleaner and healthier earth as a result of our lifestyle changes. It's important for them to be able to carry the torch.

Byline Bio:Gwen Corbett, owner of Bear's Den Cottages, Green Lodging
Helping Individuals and Businesses to Go Green