With all this talk of an economic downturn due to the meltdown on Wall Street, here are some tips for consumers on how to save some money by thinking green:
1. Be open to change.
Buy a smaller car, used car or hybrid. Or change the way your house is heated: only heat a few rooms. You will meet your needs and help the planet.
2. Approach from a place of purpose and meaning.
Only buy used goods; get used books and DVDs on Amazon; buy used clothes. This small change will make a world of difference. Repurpose what you do have to match your needs now.
3. Try Videoconferencing instead of traveling.
Don't sacrifice your standards, but think of the planet before making travel plans.
4. Maintain awareness of the world.
Buy organic vegetables cultivated near you and eat less meat. This will keep you rooted and save you money.
5. Obsess about details.
Buy a thermos, and remember that small items can save you money. Write your city council person about the benefit of white asphalt and white or "cool roofs."
6. Improve Constantly.
Make it a habit to bring reusable bags every time you go to the store and to a mall. Acquired habits can change the world.
7. Get gadgets.
Consider the Voltaic backpack with solar panels and Blackle, which gets the same web search results as Google but uses less energy. Tom's Shoes donates a pair to every child in need for every pair sold. KillAWatt helps you save on your electrical bills. The BIO ORB is a recycled plastic composter you can enjoy kicking around.
--Deborah Kattler Kupetz
Deborah Kattler Kupetz is a Los Angeles-based authority on green event planning and sustainability consulting.
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