Eco-friendly advice opinion telluridenews.com electricity voltage in china

Let’s see. Buy a Prius (or maybe a Tesla) for the summer and a diesel truck for the winter, or perhaps a Tacoma. Put solar panels on your mansion, only shop for groceries locally — you might spend $300 for a week’s worth of locally sourced, fresh, organic and healthy food. If you have a baby, get reusable diapers that you’ll have to wash, but don’t use a washing machine, wash them by hand and hang them to dry on a clothesline in the sun. Bike everywhere you can so you don’t need to use the Prius as much, which will, of course, require you to buy a quiver of bikes.

My favorite way to be more eco-friendly as a perpetually broke/poor person is to embrace being perpetually broke/poor because one of the silver linings is that there are many things broke/poor folks must do to survive that are also eco-friendly!

No. 1: Buy used stuff! That goes for anything from cars to clothes to books to appliances. (Sidenote: I would not recommend buying used underwear, toilet paper or food. If you have kids, avail yourself of hand-me-downs, and offer your kid’s outgrown clothes and toys to others for free or trade.)

Unless you live on 5th Avenue or Hollywood Boulevard, buying used things has ceased to carry a stigma. Particularly when you substitute the word “used” with “vintage.” My last three cars have been used and came quite a bit cheaper than trying to finance or lease a new car. Most of my favorite outfits have been purchased at thrift or consignment stores, and the books I read come from the library or the free box.

Recycling doesn’t just apply to cardboard and beer cans, but also to everything you use on a daily basis. Because I have no money ever, I love trolling thrift stores for basic necessities such as silverware, plates, furniture and art work. One can still have taste and be creative by using things others have left behind.

If you have to buy new things make sure they’re of good quality and try to buy things that have warranties, so they can be repaired if broken rather than replaced. For example, buying a used tent or sleeping bag or even a really good puffy jacket may not be possible. Try to get things from brands or stores that will help you make those things last. REI is a good one, as is Patagonia. Buying a crappy Walmart product that you’ll just lose and buy again is not very eco-friendly, although it seems cheaper at first. Shelling out for certain new items that you won’t be replacing anytime soon, if ever, is better for your wallet and better for the planet in the long run. Try to use companies that are focused on being healthy for the planet. Do your interwebs research!

Food seems to be one of the most hotly debated aspects when it comes to being eco-friendly. I have no good answer for you on that front. I’ve found that even the food co-op situations and the farm-to-house options are too expensive for me. The grocery stores in the area also are too expensive. Whole Foods is too expensive. Restaurants that boast local organic food are too expensive. Safeway and City Market are not too expensive. But require a car and a tank of gas to get to.

What I have found is that the more money I save by buying thrifty and used everything else (or not buying anything at all and using lots of duct tape) the more I can spend on more locally sourced and eco-friendly food items. I wish I had time and money (and/or property) to make a garden or become a beekeeper or get some chickens, but, like everything else in our backwards country, to be the healthiest for yourself and the planet requires an amount of money I don’t have; money to buy the property, money to have more time off, money to afford to get to that property if I can only afford to buy said property 45 minutes to an hour away (I’m looking at you, Norwood).

My most general advice is to look for every opportunity to consume in a recycle-y way and to look into re-allotting your budget to allow for far more expensive food items. Also, readjust your lifestyle to be as community-oriented as possible, in terms of getting around, sharing and trading your used items for others’ items that you need, too.

I fully realize this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to being eco-friendly and that this is a relatively sensitive issue. I’ve already blasted through my word limit. Please, dear passionate comrades, do not flood me with emails telling me how little justice I’ve done to this issue. If my word limit is raised to 3,000 in the near future, I’ll do a more in-depth analysis.