What The Economy Has Taught Me About Being Green

I’m going to get a little personal in this post, which is unusual for me. But, I have been out of my full-time career for nearly three years, which is a written communications professional. It’s really irritating, but I’m working a “survivor” retail job full-time while working on writing and editing jobs on the side. So, needless to say, I’ve had to learn to become extremely frugal in these past few years, which in a way is another way of “being green”.

One thing I’ve learned is to make some of my own cleaning supplies — good old vinegar and water works just as good for cleaning windows as Windex and it’s cheaper. Sure, it may not smell as good, but who really needs all of those smelly chemicals anyway?

I’ve also rediscovered libraries and used bookstores! Reusing is the ultimate green task. Do you really need that hardcover fiction book sitting on your bookcase collecting dust? Probably not. I don’t know about you, but once I’ve read a fiction book I usually never read it again. But, if it’s a reference book, something I know I’m going to refer back to later on, then I go to a used book store. You can really find some gems at these stores — books or music that is out of print, titles you have been searching for forever, you’d be surprised!

I’m eating simpler now too, which is both easy on your pocketbook and your waistline. Also, I can’t afford to go anywhere, but I at least get out and go for a walk (as long as the weather cooperates — I live in the Midwest United States where winters can be terrible). But right now I get to enjoy the glorious fall that Mother Nature gives us.

Sure, I get down in the dumps and wonder if I’ll ever make decent money again — lots of times. But, when that happens I just go over to the library and check a book on CD out or a funny movie.

I would love to hear from you how you have become more frugal in these tough economic times.

And, if you or anyone you know of needs some written communications work, I do freelance writing and editing. Please contact me at lara@lrjwritingandeditingservices.com or visit my Web site (which needs to be update, sorry) at http://www.lrjwritingandeditingservices.com

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It’s Not Easy Being Green

This is a little different post than I usually write, but I haven’t blogged in a while and I really needed to update my blog.

I am passionate about the environment — I believe we must do something now in order to preserve the Earth for future generations, but during this recession I am finding it extremely difficult to do my part. I have been in job transition for nearly two years and my money is extremely tight. I’m working a “survivor job”, but that’s what it is…a survivor job. So, my need to just stay afloat has obviously become more important than doing what’s best for the environment. Unfortunately “being green” still costs money — I used to buy all of the green soaps and cleaning products, now I have to just buy the cheapest products. Thank goodness more and more dishwashing detergents are phosphate-free, so I don’t have to worry too much about that. I still buy the biodegradable kitty litter for my girls — can you imagine switching kitty litter?! That would just be a bad mistake! I am using good old vinegar and water to clean my windows — works just as good and is cheaper. Buying less packaged goods just because I can’t afford it — guess that’s a good thing. I guess I’m doing the best I can do.

But really…when is this recession going to end — the past two years have been a nightmare for me and many other people. I go to job support/networking groups and I see the same people week in and week out. I thought things were supposed to be getting better?! I’m not seeing any sign of things lightening up. And, of course since I’ve been out for so long it’s really taken a toll on my self esteem. I just don’t know what else I can be doing. I have an extremely limited income so I can go back to school or pay membership dues, so I feel like I’m stuck. I network, search online, cold call and e-mail — what else can I do?!

This is just such a hard time, not only for me, but for others around the nation and I guess we have to hunker down and continue to be frugal because personally I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon.