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How Being Frugal, or Frugality, Helps The Environment

Updated on November 13, 2007

Photo by Rick Sammon

My husband and I have always respected the environment and our planet to some degree, worrying about it more lately than when we first met. From the time we started talking about having kids, my husband wanted to use cloth diapers. Not necessarily to save money, but because it was better for the environment. I wash out my ziploc bags and always have. While it does save me a little money each month, I think it helps the environment more. Being frugal is one of the biggest things a person can do to help protect our environment and our planet.

Going green, global warming, the environment, and even entire animal species becoming endangered are all topics in the news these days. It is becoming a real concern for more people every day. Suddenly everyone wants a hybrid car, solar power and wind turbines. This is great and all, but there is so much we can do at home, in small ways that would help the environment and most of them a frugal person is already doing.

To me frugality involves reusing whatever I can. This means that less plastic, clothing, tools, anything really, goes into landfills because of me. For everything that I can reuse instead of putting in the trash, I am helping the environment. I am also generally saving myself money in the process. I am not just talking about reusing the things I already have on hand, but also buying used. Purchasing anything from an outfit to a house that has been used before prevents new materials from being consumed and prevents old materials from making their way into our landfills. OK, maybe the house wouldn't find itself in a landfill, but just about everything else could.

Frugality also involves turning the water off when I brush my teeth, doing most of my laundry in cold water, hanging it up to dry, keeping my thermostat turned down, combining my errands to save on gas, keeping lights off if at all possible, and using fluorescent light bulbs whenever I can. By doing these things mentioned I am directly saving myself money. I am indirectly helping to save the planet and its resources. I am minimizing my family's use of water, gas, oil, and electricity.

Isn't that what all the news stories are about these days? Using less of these items or using alternatives to try to reduce our impact on the planet is what it is all about. Using less of all of these will reduce pollution, lessen the hole in the ozone, slow down the depletion of our precious resources and help stop global warming.

If you are already a frugal person you are probably already doing quite a bit to help the environment and our planet. If you don't currently practice frugality and are thinking of things you can do to help, now is the time and it really couldn't be easier. Start small by thinking before you throw something away, thinking before you purchase something new, thinking before you turn a light on, or before you jump in your car to go purchase one small thing.

Other little things you can do are turning your thermostat down a degree or two, turning lights off when you leave a room, and replacing incandescent bulbs with fluorescent ones. If you want 51 more things you can do to save the environment click here. Small steps toward frugality can add up to be huge steps towards helping the environment. Think about it!


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    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      nice lens with great purpose, being frugal at the same time helping save our environment is something that everyone of us should participate.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 9 years ago from UK

      Hi Jennifer. What sensible words. I do believe that we need to wake up and smell the coffee big time, on this little planet of ours. I've been looking at other hubs in a similar vein, and so many people are echoing your sentiments. Let's hope that frugality and common-sense start to catch on. It's time they did!

    • profile image

      SEO Pro 9 years ago

      Thanks for encouraging us to do what we know we should!

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 9 years ago from london

      Jennifer, you hit the point here! Very WISE hub!

      I think, that we have missed the real priority list, again, as society. First, we should save at our every step and second, we should start to change dirty and dangerous technologies for environmentally more friendly.

      There are hidden (hundreds of) $billions in energy and material waste in absolutely all walks of life.

      How we could make leading politicians and businessmen to think more profoundly and to deeply comprehend the possible savings in all levels of society?

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      I think you are on the right track when you tell people that they can personally benefit when the help 'save the environment'. Having more money in your purse is a real incentive to change behaviour. It will become more compelling as fuel prices rise.

    • profile image

      Carolsue 9 years ago

      Nice hub and very useful information. Hope you can stop by and visit my hubs. Remember Earth Day is April 22!

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 10 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      very true.

    • vic profile image

      vic 10 years ago

      Thank you for publishing this wonderful hub. What today's world needs is a lot more people like you and your husband. I totally agree with your phylosophy and appreciate your contributions to our beautiful planet. I am forwarding your HubPage to all the people I know. Thanks again.