Some of us are frugal out of necessity. Some of us are frugal because it makes sense. Practicing frugality kills two birds with one stone so to speak. By being frugal you spend less money and in many ways end up using less energy even indirectly.
Before my son was born I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers. Using cloth diapers is easier on the budget and you end up with some great rags. But on the other hand using cloth diapers increased the usage of hot water; not to mention the huge suck of power the dryer created. After drying the diapers my power bill took an ugly jump up. That’s when I bought one of those wooden clothes racks and started using it to dry diapers. The power bill returned to normal but it was such a noticeable difference that I started to dry everything on the racks or outside weather permitting. In the winter I position the rack over a heater vent…an effective combination. I’m not so pampered as to feel slighted somehow if my clothes or towels aren’t “dryer soft”. Sure, everything is a little stiffer feeling when it dries on the rack but an added benefit I’ve noticed is my clothes seem to have a longer life span.
I don’t buy paper towels or napkins. I use rags and cloth napkins. I stopped spending money on foil and cling wraps, too. Instead, I reuse plastic containers to store left over food. Almost all the plastic containers I use are from a food product I ate. I don’t mind washing it after I empty it so I can reuse it. I don’t mind if I can’t see through it or it doesn’t “nest” with other containers. I also like the fact that I’m not sending so much stuff to the landfill. When I pack a sandwich to take to work I don’t have to use foil or wax paper. I reuse bread bags or I use the bags that come in boxes of cereal. These are great for all kinds of foodstuffs. The plastic bags I bring home from the grocery store that you put fresh produce in are too good to just toss away. I can slip a whole plate of leftovers into one of them…no need for cling wrap. Another expensive product I don’t buy anymore is plastic garbage bags. I reuse all the grocery sacks I bring home for trashcan liners. Sure, I use a smaller kitchen trashcan than most people but I have soooo many of those grocery sacks! Don’t you?
By eliminating paper towels, napkins, foil, ziploc sandwich baggies and trash bags from my grocery list I spend a lot less money and I’m not consuming quite so many products that use petroleum and energy to produce. All together every little bit reduces my carbon footprint; the benefit of frugality.