In Discussions, Life

Being cheap or frugal is not always the answer

I was watching a study on television that says by 2050, the planet’s temperature will increase by 1 degree.

This ONE degree will cause major imbalances in the weather, particularly with very hot climates being far too hot to live in, and nothing will be able to survive, not even people.

Those folks will then be stampeding in a mass migration to leave and will spill into neighbouring countries in overwhelming numbers.

The real problem may not just be the weather, or freak hailstorm that happened in France that have CRACKED the windshields of cars, it is the aftermath of it all.

That hailstorm? It did not just cause damage to homes, cars and things, it completely wiped out the crops, as in.. gone. No food. Farmers lost everything.

This is just ONE warning the Earth is giving us. What else will happen? Even in Canada, flooding is becoming the norm here, and people are losing their homes because of climate change.

Where am I going with all of this climate talk?

You know where I am going with this.

Our habits have to change as well.

We as individuals have to stop making decisions that are the cheapest and the most frugal option because it is short-sighted.


Now, let’s be clear that I am talking about the ones who can choose to make a decision about spending their money, and not the working poor who have no choice at all.

I am talking about you and me, the types who can saunter into Whole Foods and buy things in there to eat without really feeling a pinch.

There are many things we do in our lives that I am completely guilty of, but we can do a lot to change, or at least be conscious about it so that we stop this madness.

I’d love some input / ideas on how to help with the following issues:

Plastic use has to go down or disappear

From bags, to cartons that hold our fruit, to boxes, plastic is prevalent but it doesn’t have to be the norm. If we can choose items that do not have such packaging, or frequent stores that let us bring our own packaging, that is the ideal.

Reusable bottles/packaging

It is kind of amazing when you walk into a grocery store, just how many things are packaged in foam, plastic, and sometimes, unnecessarily.

We have switched to reusable glass bottles, no more plastic for us if we can help it.

Reusable packaging for meats, fruits, vegetables etc

Your local butcher would be cool with you bringing in a reusable container, but I totally get that grocery stores are not so keen — Any ideas?

Eating less meat and dairy in general

We have cut down significantly from the way we used to eat. I’m pretty amazed actually. The reason why this is important is because cows burp methane, which is a greenhouse gas.

If we can get those cows to stop burping methane, this will be less of a problem, but as it stands, the more meat and dairy we consume, the more cows we need, and the more methane it produces.

I have been slowly cutting down on dairy at home (down to one bottle a week from two), and when I have drinks outside, I ask for soymilk instead.

Reusable cups, plates and cutlery at work

ESPECIALLY at work, I don’t get why people can’t keep their own plate, fork, knife etc, so that we can stop the madness of buying one-use plastic plates, forks and spoons for catered events.

It drove me mad when I worked, and I always had my own plate and cutlery because I refused to participate in plastic. When you eat out however, that is another story. Sigh.

Less mindless use of the car

Walking more, taking public transit — these are all things I try to do, but in some areas, this is impossible. You NEED a car.

The only thing is to buy a smaller car that uses less gas, not a gas-guzzler.

I see lots of huge trucks driving around, burning gas — and I think — for what?

Do you need it for work on a construction site? I don’t even see why you need such a huge car because I never see them carrying anything in it either, but there they are, burning up on the highways and in-town..

Less air traveling in general

I am guilty of this.

I used to travel a lot for work and pleasure, but airplanes use a LOT of gas and this gas is the worst you can burn for the planet.


Whenever I take a trip anywhere, I feel so guilty. I think the real culprit however, is business travel. If only we could cut down on that, and do offsite meetings via Skype or other means, do we really all need to be there in person, weekly?

As a consultant I remember traveling weekly and that must have been a real sledgehammer to the environment.

Less shopping in general

Buying new, buying online, I am guilty of all of this. I REALLY AM. I have since switched more over to secondhand shopping, but cutting down on this would mean less planes, trucks, and trains carrying packages to and fro.

Buying online as well – the returns, the shipping, this all eats up gas, and creates an e-commerce environmental nightmare, not to mention the uptick in packaging being used.

Choosing the greener option is not the easiest thing to do. Deciding to do without, is the hardest, but this is becoming a real issue, and climate change is REAL.

We have to start being individually accountable for what we do, and I really want this seed to be planted in all of us so that we think twice before we hand over a plastic (no pun intended) card.


Share Tweet Pin It +1

Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

You may also like

This is what unsustainable demand looks like

Posted on November 16, 2013

Previous PostRRSP Basics - Age of Withdrawals, Rules, Taxes and Other Info
Next PostWeek of Money: Where I am just counting down the days now

2 Comments

  1. l
    liteadventurer

    The most effective solution would be for people to stop having multiple kids. I read somewhere that the environmental benefit of having one less child far outweighs any amount of recycling, reduction of plastic use, limiting travel, veganism, etc. Realistically, that’s never going to happen, so it’ll be interesting to see this slow motion disaster unfold over the rest of my lifetime.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Another partial reason why I only had one kid. It is true that many kids means more people, and even though the population is aging and people are having less kids (I see less multi-kid families), it is not something people are likely to choose do — just look at the flack I got deciding to just have one kid.

      Reply

Leave a Reply