Sunday, February 7, 2010

Conserve (your own) Energy

Conserve energy you spend shopping with the simplest of actions, seeing what you already have.

“Wait , stop, check your own stock.”
~ Mom

Conserve energy you spend shopping with the simplest of actions, seeing what you already have. When we frame consuming in an ethical nature, we sometimes forget that this includes what we choose not to purchase. Where we realize we already have something suitable in our closets, or we devise a homemade remedy that works just as well, we can save money and resources by being conscientious of what we already have. The top three areas we often overspend are grocery shopping, clothes, and personal hygiene.

Grocery Shopping

Take inventory of your shelves once a week and make a list
. This will help you remove expired food as well as refresh your memory about what you do have on the shelves. This also allows you to conserve energy typically spent at the store trying to remember what you need. Making your trip efficient and hopefully reducing the cost a little bit. One great tip for ‘using what you have’ for us non-cooks are online recipe sites that let you enter the ingredients you have and viola! recipes galore. This has helped me save a pretty penny, use all of my food, and learn how to make something new!


Ah yes, our wardrobe constantly needs refreshing, but how much is too much? By making sure you have a good set of ‘basics’ like undershirts, black pants and tops, and things to go under nearly everything, you can use the rest of your budget for a few fun pieces of flair. The best part about the basics is that they never go out of style. So you don’t have to wait for the 1980s to come back into style…even though they have, to be fashionable. You can create one of a kind pieces by transforming your old clothes into new creations. For those of us that like to conserve energy in the creativity department, check out organic, fair-trade, an ethically sourced stores for feel good flair.

Personal Hygiene

How long is a toothbrush good for without that blue line thingy? Is my mascara ruined after baking in the sun for three days? Sound familiar? Well one quick fix is to take inventory and make a list, like groceries, but the second half is to explore the realm of product upkeep. I myself was new to this, but determined to only buy something when I was out, I found a lot of resources on the lifespan of makeup and other personal hygiene products that can help you clean out your closet faster than before.

Now I didn’t share this to point out the obvious, I wanted to encourage everyone to turn this simple step of “checking” into habit. I know this step, although simple, has taken me awhile to “house-train” myself. So I wish you all luck in reducing your impact on the simple things to make a big difference for you, the environment, and hopefully your pocket book as well.

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