Friday, July 4, 2008

Go Green and Bear It - Celebrate Your Independence from Mindless Consumer Spending

Sitting here feeling rather pale, cast in the gray hue of 4th of July cloud cover, I can’t seem to figure out what happened to the month of June. Looking back it was four weeks of scattered thunderstorms, dotted with a handful of birthday and father's day celebrations, capped off with 5 days in London where paying upwards of $50 each morning for breakfast, I found little comfort in the fact that England is also in the midst of a mortgage crisis and beginning to feel the pinch of inflation. While walking past Parliament, I noticed the war protesters, (who it seems have left their post only briefly since my last visit in 2002 to update their placards and perhaps take a quick shower) and I was quickly reminded that the UK has been at war as long as the US.

More broke and bloated than I had planned, I returned from London to headlines that the US stock market is "officially in bear territory". After months of endless stories on the tanking real estate market, rising foreclosures, sky rocketing gas prices and the appearance of words like staycation in the national lexicon, this came as no surprise.

However, for the environment there may be a silver lining. As a result of this "slow down" people are in fact consuming less, all the news media outlets reported Friday that this holiday weekend mass transit ridership is up, the number of cars on our highways are down and more people are in fact staycationing. While the price of gas is likely the culprit, I'd like to think that the green movement is helping people feel better about their choices. Since we began "going green" as a family our consumer discretionary spending or more appropriately put "mindless consumer spending" has dropped significantly regardless of the price of a barrel of gas. It is choosing to forgo the trip to the outlets during our staycation that really makes the difference to our budget.

I've recently found myself thinking quite a bit about the connections between the economy, the environment and consumer spending behavior and I am likely to write more on the topic, however since the clouds seem like they might let a little sunshine through, for now I’ll just share a short list of links which offer some great tips on how to go green and save and invite you to post your favorite tips for going green in a bear market.

Happy Independence from Mindless Consumer Spending Day (as decidedly un-American as it may be)!
Good Sites with Tips on Going Green and Saving Money

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So much for my optimism...I received this news seems the economic slow down is benefiting Wal-mart and not local farmers...I guess we have more work to do.