Welcome to the Greening of Gavin!
As I mentioned in the post titled “Frugal vs Green“, the two choices are somewhat compatable. So to take the frugal theme further, I beleive that these 10 steps have helped us reach both of these goals. They will not only help you reduce your environmental footprint, but save you money as well.
1. Create and Maintain a Household Budget
Creating a budget may not sound like the most exciting thing in the world to do, however it is vital in keeping your finances and your life under control. You can’t be Frugal or green if your finances are out of control. I have not yet written about how we budget, so this will be the first new post on my to-do list. However, I did write a post about “Seriously Saving Money“
2. Make friends with your local library
Libraries are great places to visit. Please read this post titled “Libraries are Cool and Free”
3. Cook at home, and avoid takeaways
Checkout my series about my 160km diet and how we lived locally as much as we can. This includes many great recipes for seasonal fare.
4. Plan your trips
What I mean by this is don’t spend all day driving around running errands, when a well planned trip can achieve the same outcome. You spend less petrol if you drive, or energy if you ride a bike.
5. Make your own cleaning products
I use bicarb and vinegar for most cleaning duties, and we make our own soap from vegetable oils and lye.
6. Take public transport
Public transportation is cheaper and produces far less carbon emissions than a car. You can read about my thoughts about the cost difference of the two at this post titled “Peak Oil in the Media and Raising Peak Oil Awareness (Kind of)”
I built a chook house from disguarded materials, and reused some old studs to make a wicking bed. We try and think of a use for most things before we consider recycling it.
8. Grow some of your own foodI have an extensive food garden, including 8 vegetable beds, and 26 fruit trees.
9. Turn off a light
We practice energy efficiency, and here is a post on how to reduce your electricity consumption in a phased approach. The post is titled, “Eco House Challenge Electricity 1 and Eco House Challenge Electricity 2” We also make most of our own electricity with 16 solar panels on our carport roof.
10. Visit an Op or Thrift shop
A visit to an op shop is like going back and becoming a kid in a lolly shop all over again. Most things at charity shops and the like are well made (or they would be in landfill), and are cheaper than you can get brand new. I always find lots of useful stuff whenever I visit Vinnies or the Salvos!
All of the above steps can be frugal and green at the same time, with each one of them being achievable within a short time frame. Hey, if I can do it, anyone can. The only piece of advice I will give is that you should not try and tackle all of these steps at once! Maybe two or three, but try and complete the very first step of budgetting, and the rest will fall into place as you go along.
For those steps that have links, please feel free to ask questions, with one proviso. Instead of posting the comment on the original post, please comment with your questions on this one only. This way, we can share all of the answers with all readers. Sharing knowledge is a powerful tool, and I love to share skills and things that I have learnt on my journey towards a sustainable lifestyle.
For the few steps that I have not written anything previously, I will, over the next week or so, fill in the gaps with posts targeting that specific step.
Now, a bit about navigation around the site. Basically, what you see is what you get. The main blog themes are located on the title bar above, the tutorials and YouTube videos are on the right sidebar, as is the archive of all my posts. If you want to start from the very begining (there are over 750 articles), go to the archive and work your way forward.
It has been a fantastic journey as I strive to green up my life and that of my family’s. It is far from being over, and we enjoy every single moment on this Earth of ours. As long, of course, as we treat it with respect and make it a better place for our children and future generations to come.
Hi Gav, I am sitting in front of the TV waiting to see you on the 7pm Project on Channel 10. I am so proud of you. You are a star my friend.
hey Gavin, just saw you on the 7pm project, good on you! the vege garden is looking good, shame they didn’t give you a bit more time though.
Oh, I missed it! Bugger… timely post, of course, and it’s a great list!!
Out Back says
Just saw you on 7pm project, the segment wasn’t long enough though. Kim and yourself did a great job, and your garden is looking very healthy.
Just wondering if I should get an autograph now before you get too famous lol.
We do most of the tips you have listed here so must be on the right track.
Just going to read about your solar panels, I am wondering if we are getting the most out of ours. I think we need to find a company that is going to pay us more than we are getting atm.
Keep up the good work Gavin…
Thanks mate. Great chatting to you via Skype tonight as well.
Cheers. I agree, I hope they post a extended version on their site. They do that sometimes.
Worry no longer my friend. I posted on YouTube, and on the blog.
Kim was so worried as ladies often are, but I thought she looked fantastic. I reckon most of my readers are on the right track, with the list just being a friendly reminder.
Great post – I think many folk forget the first big step in getting greener is to REDUCE consumption far before we think of reusing and then recycling – we do many of the things you quote except public transport (its non existant (well thats a bit harsh, it doesn’t work for us) on our little island! Reducing how we consume in all aspects of our lives makes for a very positive frugal contribution to greening our living!
I’m slowly working my way through your blog – thank you!!
Ps – that many fruit trees – OMG I have very big envy we can’t really grow fruit here unless its under cover (polytunnel) due to our climate – but we get there! I’ve a wardrobe that is a cold frame and the chickens now live in an old meat/cheese store I converted into a little house for them – 🙂
Cheers. I have been reading your blog as well. Kudos to you for being able to grow food in such a harsh climate. It must be a struggle sometimes. However, your island looks very tranquil even if it gets a bit stormy sometimes.
Molly On Money says
If people stop to write down how they spend their money they can make choices that reflect their values. It can be a very eye opening experience.
Jon W says
How about #0: Ask yourself before every purchase: do I need it, will it make me genuinely happy, can I make do with something I already have, can I get it second hand?
Please look at “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Compact” for a simple idea that can make a huge difference.