VIEWS: Going Green on a Dime

Dispatch from SSC Intern Crystal Kirsch

As I am working through my summer, I realized that this is the first time in my life since I was a young teenager that I haven’t been making a steady income. Suddenly, wanting the little extras in life is out of reach for me. And while my parents have always told me I can ask for assistance if I need it, I’m convinced that this is something that I can work out by myself.

 I know that I have to budget my money closely and I can’t buy everything I want. But if I am working toward a sustainable lifestyle, what kind of impact will it have? I still look through the aisles and try to choose green options, but I notice that sometimes those options are costing me more. What I also realize is that I’m living a healthier lifestyle because I am giving up all of my extravagances like cookies, name brands and the little extras I would normally have purchased. Unlike before, I am looking more closely through the fresh vegetables instead of buying prepackaged and precut veggies because of the money I can save. Instead of stopping by McDonald’s, KFC or other fast food chains, I’m choosing to stay home and cook a healthy meal because eating out costs more.

All of these purchasing decisions are options I never thought as much about when I had the money to spend on the things I felt I really wanted. I know that there is a large amount of waste I am saving from going to the landfills by eating at home each night on washable dishes as an alternative to the fast food bags, plasticware and food wrappings that I used to throw away or even recycle in the past. Living through this lifestyle has really opened my eyes that going green and working toward sustainability can work for any economic standard of living.