Something I Do

For a long time our 401K and retirement fund were just big holes where we threw our money, hoping to see it again in thirty years. Now we realize that the money is actually going somewhere and being used, for good and for evil. While we can’t control everything, my husband and I decided that we could convert our retirement funds to SRIs – Sustainable and  Responsible Investments. If we are going to be setting aside money to grow for our old age, we want our investments to be used ethically. If you need any help turning over your retirement or investments, we highly recommend Streamline Financial Services. They understand the values we have and they search to find us the portfolio that will make the impact we want to make (or not make) with our money.

Something I Don’t

We don’t budget. We live within our means, but we don’t always know where those “means” are going. A defined budget helps a person be more green because you can track where your money is spent and make a bigger impact with each choice. When we are aware of our spending, we are more effective at limiting consumerism, gas consumption, eating out, and frivolous, impulsive choices. The more we examine our money and its impact, the more we can use it as a tool for change, rather than it using us to keep Walmarts and Targets operational.

How do you make your money serve you? How do you use your wealth (and if you are reading this, you have attained a certain level of wealth) for good?

Something I do:

I turn off my car.

In the carpool lane at school, at the drive-thru, in traffic jams, I turn off my car. There is some popular wisdom that says that turning your car off and back on again uses up more gas than leaving it on to idle. Consumer Energy says ten seconds of idling can use more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it. I’ve always heard fifteen seconds is the rule.

Count to fifteen.

Can you make a hamburger that fast? Neither can Burger King.

 

Something I don’t do:

Get out of my car.

If I truly want to save gas, but I need to pick up my child or grab a bite of fast food, I should get out of my car. Besides saving gas, I actually burn a few calories.  I’ve been trying to park and walk up to the school to pick up George on nice days, but I often opt for the convenience of keeping Mabel contained in the carpool lane. Car off, of course.

Any other gas saving tips out there?

“Something I Do, Something I Don’t” are short Saturday posts about creation and waste, about making small steps to refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Something I do:

I wash cloth napkins and rags instead of using paper napkins and paper towels. We haven’t bought paper towels or napkins in at least five years. It is easy and fun! The kids can use as many rags as they want to clean up spills and there’s no stress about it.

Something I don’t do:

I don’t line-dry laundry. Sometimes I dry my diapers outside, but that is as far as I’ve gotten toward not using and abusing my dryer. I have no outdoor laundry line and in the winter it would be impractical anyway. Any encouragement or suggestions about drying laundry inside during the winter?

“Something I Do, Something I Don’t” are short Saturday posts about creation and waste, about making small steps to refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle.