08 June 2009

Saving Money and Going Green in the Big City

E Magazine has an article about what they call the top five ways to save money by going green. Their list:
  1. Kill your lawn
  2. Make your appliances work for you
  3. Get back to basics
  4. Be energy-efficient
  5. Go on a low-impact diet
Read more details here. By "low-impact diet" they don't mean just food, but also buying used instead of new things and doing other things to cut back on your environmental impact.

But this article, like so many, seems oriented primarily to a suburban lifestyle with, well, a lawn. And outdoor space where you can hang a clothesline to limit use of the dryer. While apartment-dwellers also have appliances, they often come with the apartment, and we tend to have fewer of them than people living in houses. We also rely a lot more on public transit.

But we still buy stuff; we probably just throw more of it away because we run out of space faster. We order take-out in vasts quantities. So here are some proposals, in no particular order, to save money and lighten the environmental impact for city dwellers:
  1. If you can imagine throwing it away any time soon, don't buy it.
  2. Walk or bike instead of taking public transit; take public transit instead of driving or taking a cab.
  3. Pack lunch and water in re-usable containers; cook from scratch instead of ordering in; store the leftovers in re-usable containers and take them for lunch.
  4. Use a fan instead of air conditioning; keep your air conditioner filter clean; when it's time, get a more energy-efficient air conditioner.
  5. Go to Times Square and sit down on Broadway. Grin from ear to ear. Then send email to your elected officials and tell them to keep it traffic-free forever.

Any other ideas? Let me know!