If you're one of those people who want to "go green" but think they can't afford it, meet Sue H. of Dewitt, Virginia.
This "One in a Million" grandmother of two has found that shifting her spending to products and services that offer the greatest environmental benefit actually saves her money - especially when it comes to energy.
The One in a Million campaign inspires consumers to shift at least $1,000 of their existing household budgets to greener goods. The idea isn't to spend more money, just to make "green" a priority when you do shop. In many cases, the new purchases are not only better for the planet. They're great for your pocketbook, too.
Here's how Sue shifted her spending:
Date: Item / Money Spent
04/'07: '07 Honda Civic / $17,500
04/'07: front loading washer / $1,000
'06-'08: 50 CFL bulbs / $200
01/'07: Water heater blanket / $20
01/'08: Weather stripping / $10
01/'08: 8 pairs of thermal drapes / $500
05/'08: Bamboo bathroom flooring / $400
Sue says she's "pretty much a typical 60ish woman" with three grown children, two grown step-children, and seven grandchildren. Retired, she sews, does some crafting, reads and gardens. When I asked Sue what inspired her, here's what she said.
"The green thing? It really began for me in the 70's when we planted our first garden. I started getting Organic Gardening and that got me even more interested. Then there were a number of years when I really let stuff slide. I was divorced in 1979, with two kids, and working for the first time in my life.
"I've gotten more interested and active in our environment over the years since I had to retire. It began with supporting various charities that espouse what I think is important. I've browbeaten most of my family about it. My mother, who lives with my older sister, began recycling about 3 months ago. Same deal with my daughter and her family. My husband has been hard to persuade, too, and I frequently go through the 'trash' can in the kitchen to fish out stuff that goes in the recycle can. But, we're getting there. In the last few years, I've even convinced him to give up the 10-10-10 fertilizer we'd been using on the garden. We've gone organic with that, as well as using Neem oil for the bad bugs instead of Sevin spray.
"The hardest part for me has been to actually DO it instead of just bitching about how Earth is changing, and placing blame with politicos and big business and the oil companies. Oh, they are culprits, but so am I. The easiest was the cfl bulbs. That's something that anyone can do. Do it one at the time or one room at the time. By the way, my monthly budget electric bill has come down from $152 to $116. That's over $400 a year. For some people, that's the final shot in the arm. That money thing will get people nearly every time.
"I know I can't do much, but I truly believe if everyone would do just ONE thing, the world we live in would get better!
"P.S. I've gotten my two four & 1/2 year old granddaughters each a copy of "Michael Recycle" for Christmas this year."
If Sue can do it, so can you! Shifting your spending not only saves you money - it gives manufacturers an incentive to reduce pollution, keep air and water clean, and protect our world for our kids and grandkids. Why don't you join us today? It couldn't be easier! Meet more One in a Million women.
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