It’s hip (and green) to be cheap

I’ve been frugal (ahem, cheap) most of my life. When we started to put an effort into going green several years ago, I realized that some of my cheap practices were also good for the environment.

The discovery came at a good time for us. We had recently moved to a big city where most of our neighbors and co-workers were decidedly not thrifty. Having money, or more realistically, acting like you have lots of money was de riguer.

Times have certainly changed, haven’t they? I read the most interesting article in the July/August edition of AARP The Magazine this weekend titled “The Leap to Cheap.”

Author Jeff Yeager interviewed several cheapskates that would put my thriftiness to shame. The gist of the article was that the more money we try to make, and more things we buy, the less time we spend enjoying life.

One of the most interesting things I learned from the article is that the U.S. used to have a national “Thrift Week.” It began in 1916 and ran through 1966.

Thanks to our current economic crisis, frugality and thrift have come back in a big, big way. 

What’s green about being frugal? People are buying less stuff, which means less waste is generated. People aren’t buying gas-guzzlers and driving them all over the place. People are eating out less. More of us are growing our own gardens and spending more time with each other.

This newfound thrift has even spurred a movement to bring back Thrift Week. They even have a facebook page.

I think this is all great, but Yeager warns in his article, once the economy improves, many of us will drop our newfound thriftiness and go back to our regular way of consuming. What do you think? Do you think thriftiness will go back out of style?


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This entry was posted on June 7, 2010 by in At Home, At Work, Green and tagged , , , , , , .

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