Awhile back in Natural Life Magazine, we published a letter from someone who wrote in to say that she couldn’t afford to be green anymore (meaning, in her case, buying organic food and green cleaning products) because she’d lost her job. I hope I was able to dispel that myth for her! While organic food and so-called “green” cleaning products can be more expensive than their conventional counterparts, and installing solar panels on your roof costs a lot of money upfront, there are frugal alternatives and small projects that you can undertake that don’t cost as much. Recycling and re-using cost nothing; mending, swapping, and shopping second-hand are more frugal than buying new clothing; baking soda and vinegar can replace almost any high-priced commercial cleaner; making your home draft-proof can save a lot of energy and money; gardening, canning, preserving, and baking take time, but they are economical and satisfying. Making your own and doing it yourself are becoming trendy for good reasons!
The little things you do can add up – both in terms of helping the environment and saving money – as some of our readers have told us. (Our readers have been sending us their green and frugal living tips since we started publishing in 1976!) In fact, Natural Life Magazine is full of helpful tips for going green easily and economically and you’ll find some of those articles online. You can navigate the site by using the article indexes that appear near the top of every page; you could begin with the frugal living index and the green living index.
One thing you won’t see in Natural Life Magazine is recommendations about buying green products. We have a strict policy of not endorsing any particular brands or products. (Usually when magazines and websites write about products, they’re doing so in order to attract advertisers, and we don’t believe that’s ethical.) So we explain the issues in a well-researched manner that is not influenced by any particular company, then let you decide how to make decisions to make your home greener and healthier and where to spend your money – or, in many cases, not to spend it at all.
I have written many articles of that sort for the magazine over the years. And now, we’ve updated them in an exciting new book called Natural Life Magazine’s Green & Healthy Homes. This is a unique guide to making your home both green and healthy…while saving money at the same time. It’s available now, directly from us, in both print and the less expensive e-book format.
As far as food goes, one solution to the problem of expensive organic grocery bills (aside from growing your own and buying directly from farmers) is to choose organic when you are purchasing those foods that carry the heaviest burden of pesticides, chemicals, additives and hormones when grown conventionally. Here is just one article that will help stretch your organic spending power, while reducing your family’s exposure to harmful chemicals. There are lots more in back issues of Natural Life Magazine, with some archived on the website.
So if you’re wondering how to get started with green living – or just need to move beyond the expensive, green products trap – spend some time with us!