Written by Braelyn Rumble
Monday, August 10th, 2020
When this summer began, I was eager to take on a fresh mindset and new goals for the season. With more time on my hands than anticipated, I had plenty of opportunity to evaluate how my habits shaped my spending.
With more opportunities to learn new hobbies, coupled with my wish to support more local businesses, I've learned that I can potentially save money by being more environmentally friendly.
Here Are Some Small Sustainable Practices That Help Me Save Money
Learning to Garden
Learning to garden this summer has been as satisfying as it has been rewarding. Having fresh herbs and sprouts available to cook with has meant that I'm more intentional about the meals I make, in turn helping me be more diligent with meal planning. By creating a weekly schedule to consume my food when it's freshest, I've cut back on the amount of food waste I create.
Supporting Local Farmers and Artisans
I love exploring what my city has to offer at our weekly farmer's market. Not only am I supporting local farmers with my purchases, but I am helping to reduce emissions by purchasing food that hasn't travelled as far to get to the grocery store.
I also find that instead of mindlessly tossing fruits and vegetables in my cart and ultimately overspending on produce I don't eat, I am becoming more deliberate in purchasing food I will actually use in my meals, especially while they are in season.
As an added bonus, by meeting face to face with the people that grow my food, I've learned many new ways to prepare food using every part of the produce I buy, from the root to the leaves, meaning my money is going further with every meal.
Swapping a Tropical Vacation for a Local Excursion
While I had originally intended to explore a new country this summer, I've since swapped out my international travel plans for a camping trip in a nearby provincial park. By spending time outdoors, I'm avoiding the costs associated with popular tourist attractions while spending on supplies that get multiple years of use.
Being Mindful of What's in My Cart and Buying in Bulk
When I do go to the grocery store for items not available locally, I buy food in bulk when possible. I find that buying in bulk tends to be a more cost effective option, since it cuts down on the number of trips I make to the store, and tends to be lower cost than single-use products.
I'm also reducing my waste and preventing unnecessary product packaging from ending up in landfill.
Keeping My Changes Small
I may not be able to invest in solar panels or go entirely “off the grid," but I'm finding that these small substitutions have added value to my lifestyle, have been beneficial to the environment, and have helped reduced my spending overall.