Wednesday, 15 February 2012

5 Frugal Sustainable Living Ideas for 2012

More and more people are getting into the idea of living both sustainably and frugally. It’s easy to understand why we would want to live frugally; the economy is in a fragile state and household income is being squeezed more than ever. But sustainable living is also worth shooting for, particularly as it means we can live successfully without harming the environment around us.
Here are four ways you can do just that in 2012.

#1: shop locally and eat local produce
It’s great to be able to eat food that has been grown in other countries and shipped halfway around the world to reach us. But it is also bad for the environment because the food has to cover thousands of miles to get to where you live, this means a big cost in terms of money and environmental factors too, hence the carbon footprint will be a lot bigger than it would be for food that has been grown locally. So shop locally but eat locally grown produce too.

#2: grow your own vegetables
You can grow an amazing amount of vegetables in your back yard, they are great for your health and your finances too. Buy some seeds to begin with and freeze vegetables to make them last through the year. Remember to save some seeds from your efforts, drying them out and keeping them to replant for new vegetables the next year as well.

#3: shop smart
Most of us don’t need as many possessions as we think we do. Get into the habit of thinking twice before buying anything, and buy green whenever you can. Luckily we have access to a huge range of eco-friendly products today that can all help contribute to a more sustainable way of living, by buying less, but buying more conciously you can saving money whilst also being able to afford a better quality of product when you do splash out.

#4: be energy conscious
Being frugal with your energy usage is essential if you want to live within your means. Unplug all appliances when they’re not being used to ensure they aren’t using any energy at all. Switch off lights when you’re not in a room and make sure you are economical with the heating. Turn the thermostat down a degree or two and make a difference this way as well. Each year this practice can save literally hundreds of dollars, pounds or whatever currency you operate in.

#5: say no to fossil fuels
Much electricity is still generated from non-sustainable sources, but you can shop around and pick a supplier who uses green energy sources and it often won’t cost any more than you are already paying.
On top of that though, why not consider generating your own energy? Installing a wood burning stove and looking for sources of waste wood to burn can save you loads, and if you live somewhere sunny, solar panels are another great way to get free heat for your water.

Summary
Being frugal doesn’t have to mean missing out. Living sustainably is easier than you might think too, and combining the two means you can enjoy a better and happier way of life from now into the future. Live smart and enjoy it!


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