A thought-provoking little story has been circulating on the Internet recently about an elderly woman who is chastised by a young cashier at the grocery store for not bringing her own reusable grocery bags. The cashier scolds the woman - and people of her generation - for not caring as much as younger people do about the environment and the impact their actions have on the Earth.
The woman apologizes, then politely proceeds to give the young cashier a short history lesson about the way folks her age lived long before there even was a "green movement," from reusing milk and soda bottles, to line drying their laundry (including cloth baby diapers!), from walking or bicycling to school and drinking out of public water fountains instead of buying bottled water, to owning far fewer cars, televisions and other appliances.
The point is well taken. Even before modern day environmentalists coined the phrase "reduce, reuse, recycle," the mantra of Depression-era Americans was "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." Whether your motivation is to survive economic hard times, protect the environment, or both, the outcome is the same: In general, consuming and spending less - and more thoughtfully - is better for both your bank account and good old Mother Earth.
In short, "living green" shouldn't cost you more, it should cost you less. That's the topic of this week's episode of my web show "The Cheap Life," just in time for Earth Day (April 22). So tune in to help save the planet and some money at the same time, and be sure to leave me a comment on the show's YouTube page for a chance to win a $50 gift card - now that's the kind of green you can spend!
Also of Interest
- Help for 50-Somethings Short on Retirement Funds
- How to Save on Gas When You Travel this Summer
- Join AARP: Savings, resources and news for your well-being
See the AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more