Save Money and the Environment with Sara Renshaw and Luminous Being
When it comes to saving the environment, most people associate it with lots of effort and little impact. A person replacing their car with a bike would not see a drastic decrease in CO² emissions right away. This might be one of the reasons why saving the environment doesn’t appeal to some; it can feel insignificant. We were fortunate enough to do an interview with Sara Renshaw who helps people transition easier to green living. She is an expert consultant on living green, Founder, and CEO of Greenlife Consulting. Next to her answers to help you transition we also have tips at the bottom, making green living more attractive and affordable.
What are 3 things you could do to save money and go green in your household on a budget?
1) Collect the organic waste in the kitchen (peelings, cores, seeds of fruits & veggies, egg shells, coffee grounds, dryer lint, hair) in an airtight tub and empty on trash day into the green bin that the city provides. It’s the same bin you as yard trimmings. It may be different colored bins depending on where you live. This will reduce the amount of carbon that is released as the organic materials break down or compost.
2) Buy an inexpensive fold out drying rack and air dry your clothes, give the dryer a break! This is how they do it in Europe and everyone survives slightly stiff clothing.
3) Provide space to take shoes off at entry ways (guests too please). The air quality tends to be worse inside of our homes than it is outside. That is mostly to do with insufficient air filtration and ventilation. Our shoes bring in with them a large amount of pollutants. Then we walk through the home and the pollutants become airborne or stuck in the carpets.
What other tips in my everyday life to go green and live a more eco friendly life?
[Sara Renshaw] It’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed with being more eco-friendly, to the point of not even trying. We live in a time that businesses care more about profit than our health or offering a quality product/service. They are intentionally marketing to us in a way to keep us confused. They call this “green washing”. Do your best to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, but don’t give up when the going gets tough. If you can do these actions below, it will help.
Be conscious, read labels, look to see who is behind the message
Get your daily 30 minutes of exercise
Get out in nature
Eat more fruits and veggies (organic or from a farmer you can trust)
Spend more quality time with family & friends
Watch frightening documentaries about our food, the planet and corporate domination
Take a stand for the things that matter to you
Can a single person really make a difference, I am just one person?
Yes absolutely one person can make a difference. Live by example, the people in your life will become curious and if interested, will take up those habits as their own. Then they will share in their space and the domino effect continues. Every drop in the bucket adds up!
Also our purchasing power is very important, If we are spending our money with responsible companies then that helps to support their efforts. It helps to bring down the cost of the healthy, sustainable products and puts the bad guys out of business (the ones who put profit above all else).
Green Life Consulting
Here further great tips we researched:
- Going Green is to bring your own
Whether it’s a travel mug or grocery bag, in either case you can save money and the environment. Popular coffee chains offer discounts on their drinks when you bring your own mug. Other stores offer refills or drinks of the day for just a dollar. Similar rules apply to some grocery stores, if you bring your own bag you can get a discount. Sure, they are just a few cents you save, but they could probably add up to the cost of a meal quickly. Why these efforts save the environment? Less coffee cup waste and more trees surviving, which give back that fresh air we all enjoy. Less plastic bags would eventually lead to a cleaner ocean environment.
- Eco -Friendly can be taking a ride
A great way would probably be to ride a bike to work, no gas money, no rush hour traffic, no CO² emissions and you will have beautiful legs. If you are surrounded by mountains, or you’re simply not the fittest, consider getting a motorized bicycle. Another way of getting around is public transportation. Depending on where you live, a bus pass could be half of what you would pay for gas, car insurance and maintenance. If you don’t have the option of good public transportation, or the weather does not always comply with you, carpool your commute with colleagues. Other options include car sharing with a company, simply pay a monthly fee to borrow and ride their cars. In Los Angeles, blueLA has been established this summer in order for low-income families to afford an environmental friendly car, similar to metro bikes, kiosks with parking spots and charging stations will be placed around Los Angeles.
- Change it up and be Eco
If you have non-LED light bulbs, you might want to consider the switch. This saves you money on constantly getting new ones, since they can last for about 10 years. Similarly, can you save on energy; one of these bulbs costs about 1$ of electricity in a year. A nice feature of modern LED light bulbs is that they come in daylight mode, so that even the darkest of rooms can have the appearance of a sunny day.
Other things you can change to save energy are appliances like fridge, oven, dishwasher and washing machine. Most of them come with details on how much energy they use which can sometimes be a third of your old utilities. This of course is a pricey investment in comparison to light bulbs. However, if you do consider making these changes there a programs and stores that might offer you a discount and recycling for your old fridge and other utilities.
- Make it quick Save water
Showering is one of those activities that clears the mind and lets you think of your best ideas yet. Instead of letting the water run while brainstorming make it your habit to only turn it on when it’s really necessary. If you need to keep the water running to get those thoughts coming an alternative is to buy a showerhead that uses less water, this will not change your habits, but it will cut down your use of water.
- Recycle Buy it used
Whether it’s clothes or furniture, a great way to save money and be green, is to buy used. This habit keeps waste at a low and can become a hobby for some. Items like a sturdy table that lasted for 30 years will probably last just as much after you buy it. Of course, you have the option cheap furniture chain stores and get a table for a very low price, however, you will not have a unique piece. Items you buy at a thrift store, yard sale or an antique shop might have a great history behind it, which can make thrifting into a treasure hunt to have your own special piece of history.
- Cut Down on Emissions
How about cooking an Indian dish that is also vegetarian? Experiment in your kitchen. Vegetables are usually less costly than meat and if you cook something with a delicious flavor you might not even notice the absence of meat. Meat consumption heavily influences CO² emissions and your wallet. Cutting down on meat would automatically cut down on those emissions and sustain your own environment of healthy living.
- Organic Garden Grow your own
A way of saving money on food is to grow your own. This way you can make sure it’s organic and less processed. It will also decrease waste, because there is less packaging. You might want to start small by growing herbs, these usually grow easy, don’t need much space and you can use them all year; maybe even spice up that meatless dish. If you are blessed with a green thumb, but you don’t have enough space for a garden, check if there are community gardens in your area. Fresh veggies and herbs are always a bliss.
Whichever of these suggestions you want to follow is up to you, find what works for you and take it step by step, maybe if you get the hang of it the rest will come naturally to you too.
LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!
Team Luminous Being