Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Politically Incorrect

When The Professor and I were first married, we knew that we would never be millionaires; we were both training to be teachers (he on the college level and me on the elementary level) and had to watch our pennies. Here we are almost 13 years later, and still pinching away. I've been musing on the fact that being frugal and trying to save money is seen as such a negative in this country (maybe it's just the areas of it I've lived in, but that has been my experience). I spent a lot of years trying to get those around me to see the benefits of frugality, sometimes with success and sometimes not.

I've discovered a fascinating fact, however. Even though frugality seems to be politically incorrect, being green is seen as EXTREMELY politically correct. Therefore, even though I tried unsuccessfully for years to get The Professor to wash and reuse Ziploc bags, it was only when it became an issue of being green that it was ok. (FYI, if you ever mention to a group of people that you have washed and reused a ziploc bag, do not admit it's because they cost 11 cents apiece - it is because you are being green; you will see those looks of disdain change to appreciation faster than you can say global warming).

The nice thing is that the majority of the things that we try to do to save money also happen to save energy, materials, etc.; things like having no AC, or walking more and driving less. There are certain things that are definitely MORE expensive, like buying local and organic foods, but I'm pretty sure that in the long run, our health will benefit, which will end up being the more frugal choice.

I like to think of it all as killing two birds with one stone, but of course I will only be mentioning one of the birds out loud - the green one.


Bezzie said...

I'm washing and reusing baggies that cost $.016666 cents! And if you ever figure out a way to get your husband to bring home his baggies, let me know. I can't get mine to. But it's OK. What the hubby throws away, the son makes up for. He's been collecting baggies from other kids (that they were going to throw away) and bringing me them home to wash. Ha ha!

The Professor said...

You're right, MN. Being frugal is somehow cheap and selfish, while being green is selfless and virtuous. Go figure...

But there's a difference between being saying "I don't need this" and "You can't have this." We're being frugal with our own wants and hopefully still generous toward others.

grmybmy said...

People who come to visit still look at me weirdly when I tell them that we don't have paper towels in the house...Grmybmy