I was about to throw away some laddered tights yesterday when I remembered reading that they are good to use as plant ties if you cut them up or to store your onion crop in. So I have kept them, just in case.
It made me think about how being frugal – buying less, consuming less, repairing, reusing things, buying second-hand – aren’t just good for your bank balance, they are good for the environment.
Take the garden. I don’t like to use chemicals, although I did give in to some organic slug pellets last year when my cabbages were being shredded. Usually I set slug traps using Sainsburys cheapest lager (I wouldn’t drink it, but the slugs seem to like it) and crumble egg shells or sand around the plants the beasts enjoy the most. I compost all garden waste and food waste such us peelings, teabags, and I collect bags of free manure from a house nearby, which also goes onto the compost heap. I do have to buy potting compost sometimes, but not as much as in the past.
Cardboard egg boxes make great little pots for starting seeds, and larger yogurt or cream pots are good for potting them on. A litre of water with a couple of teaspoons of liquid castile soap in a spray bottle is good for killing bugs, costs a lot less than the scary chemicals you can buy in the garden centre and is much less harmful to the environment.
Growing your own veg means you can have delicious, fresh and organic produce for a fraction of the cost you would spend in the shops. Buying local and in season is often cheaper. The environmental cost of transporting food thousands of miles is huge.
I love to buy plants but they are so expensive! It is easy to collect and store seeds and to take cuttings from other plants.
If you are on a water meter it makes sense to have as many water butts as you can fit in your garden. The local council quite often has links to companies doing deals on these. You can also re-use the ‘grey’ water from your bath or shower to water the garden.
In the house, saving energy saves money and is green. Using a lid on your cooking pots makes them boil more quickly so you can turn the gas down. Insulating your house and fitting thick curtains means you can turn down the thermostat.
Driving carefully uses less petrol. Buying second-hand clothes and furniture means items are re-used and not thrown away. Hanging your clothes on the line or an airer saves energy and the cost of running a tumble dryer.
The motto is reduce, re-use and recycle. I try to do all of these things because they save money. Living a simpler life, having less ‘stuff’, consuming less, re-using more: it helps to keep the wolves at bay and gives you a nice warm deep green feeling. 🙂