In the context in which we currently live, the concerns are shared between ecology and the management of one's money. Currently, there is an awareness of the need to take care of the planet and to ensure that it is preserved. However, on the other hand, life is also more complicated economically speaking with high inflation. So we want to be careful with our portfolio and that's normal. Thus, ecology and the wallet can be considered as potentially incompatible, but what is it really?
In this article, it will not be a question of bringing you a magic answer, but rather of wondering about the various elements to be taken into account and about the possibilities which exist to try to reconcile the two aspects. What I am about to say is not an absolute truth, but only a perception that leads to debate. My will is really to question myself on this subject and your opinion interests me greatly. So, feel free to say what you think in the comments.
We must remain lucid about the fact that on our scale, our impact on the environment is only minimal. Large corporations have the most negative impact on the environment. Oil companies, like ExxonMobil or Chevron, mining companies, like Rio Tinto, or food companies, like Monsanto, are among the biggest polluters and contribute to the deterioration of the planet. Our behavior then has a comparatively limited negative impact on the environment. Nevertheless, our strength is in our numbers. All our small actions to preserve the environment, put together, then represent a more significant and not insignificant part.
What can make you think that the two are incompatible?
It is understandable that in a society in which we are forced to watch our expenses, it is not always possible to pay more for a more environmentally friendly product. The main problem therefore comes from the fact that in some cases, buying ecological is more expensive. For example, there are many clothing brands offering products made with organic or recycled materials, but having to pay 50€ for a t-shirt is a strong disincentive. In the same logic, organic foods are often more expensive than other products. Thus, whether for food or clothing, often the best solution for the environment is also the most expensive. We can legitimately ask ourselves if a higher price is really due to higher production costs or if the traders are taking advantage of the opportunity… The fact is that buying ecological products whatever they are represents a cost and this does not is not possible for everyone.
Despite this overwhelming observation, it is still possible to carry out actions that go in the direction of ecology without it costing us an arm.
What solutions are available to us?
Fortunately for us, there are certain solutions and products that not only have a positive impact on the environment and save money.
There are many ways to reconcile ecology and the environment, here are a few, which are far from exhaustive. The idea is just to prove that it is indeed possible to take care of the environment without breaking the bank.
First, regarding the purchase of clothing, by looking carefully, it is possible to find eco-responsible products at an attractive price. In addition, we must also ask ourselves the question of its longevity. When we buy an eco-responsible item, the quality is not the same, the products are made to last. You then have to pay more, but if it lasts longer, it will be cheaper. Another way to save money is to go second-hand. In this way, you give a second life to the product, and you therefore have a positive impact on the environment, and at the same time you also pay less.
Overall, eco-related savings go through small things. For example, whenever possible, it is good to use reusable containers. This is the case for water with glass bottles. But it is also possible to do it for detergent, dishwashing liquid, soap, shower gel... Although this is not suitable for everyone, another possibility is to use solid soaps.
Savings can also be made by reducing energy and water consumption. For energy, we can focus on a few avenues: using LED bulbs, turning off electrical appliances when not in use, reducing the heating temperature or using energy-efficient appliances. For water: using water-saving shower heads, installing a rainwater collector and avoiding letting it run for too long are relevant solutions.
A final proposal is to return to the use of more natural products. In particular, we can replace the majority of cleaning products and save money, while using products that are better for the environment, for example using vinegar or baking soda. In the same logic, the use of permaculture in your vegetable garden allows you to cultivate while respecting the land. To learn more about permaculture, here is a comprehensive book on the subject.
Reconciling the environment and saving money is therefore quite achievable, we just have to find the solutions that suit us. Concretely, here are some examples of alternatives: toothbrush, Le Petit Marseillais shower gel refill, Dishwashing liquid. Also, many brands offer shoes made from recycled materials, such as NoTime, subject tag of one of my articles.
The desire to pay attention to the environment necessarily leads to an awareness and questioning of one's own practices. This is important in order to be able to carry out actions leading to the preservation of the ecology, or on the contrary to stop certain harmful practices. Nevertheless, we must not go to extremes and feel extremely guilty about what we do.
The reconciliation between ecology and wallet is a complex challenge, but it is possible to find sustainable and innovative solutions that preserve the environment while saving money. On the other hand, it is important to recognize that compromises will be necessary.
And you what do you think ? What are your personal green practices that save you money?