Green American

Green American #95, September-October 2013

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IN COOPERATION Green America's mission is to harness economic power for a just and sustainable society. We work for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the abundance of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come. Our programs grow the green economy, stop corporate abuse, tackle climate change, build fair trading systems, support local communities, and help families and businesses go green. We define "green" to mean social and economic justice, community and environmental health—people and the planet. A publication of Green America (formerly Co-op America) Publications Better Paper project dIRECTOR Division Director Dennis Greenia EDITOR-in-chief Tracy Fernandez Rysavy Frank Locantore Better Paper project coordinator associate editor Martha van Gelder Senior Writer Sarah Tarver-Wahlquist eDITORIAL FELLOWS Krisna Bharvani, Allison Stewart DIRECTOR, Social Investing & policy Fran Teplitz Sierra Schellenberg Design direction Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn illustrator Jem Sullivan PUBLISHER Denise Hamler green consumer mobilization & Technology Special Projects & Adv ertising MANAGER IT/systems Administrator Pat Keyes Rob Hanson online & technology director Hans Bauman Senior Information systems analyst Additional advertising Dennis Greenia Bernadette Morales Gaskin online & special projects Editor Web specialist Shireen Karimi Andrew Korfhage online systems developer Jeff Koppe Executive Team Web development intern Fern Sawitree president/ceo Alisa Gravitz Development PROGRAMS Executive director Larry Giammo chief development Officer Brad Dawson Executive assistant Martha van Gelder GREEN BUSINESS NETWORK™ DIRECTOR Denise Hamler director of standards & Certification major gifts Officer Christy Schwengel development COORDINATor Katie Gatlin foundation Fundraiser Matt Grason development intern Laurie Wilmot Alix Davidson membership marketing PROGRAMS communications and marketing manager director of membership marketing Misha Deborah Clive Dana Christianson membership and marketing coordinator membership marketing COORDINATor Nicolas Biber senior researcher Tish Kashani Beth Porter membership marketing Fellow certification interns Samantha Hoillet, Bridget Callahan Ashley Johnson organizational systems national green pages fellows Takiya chief business officer Russ Gaskin Louers, Annie Milewski Director of Finance & online communications and marketing Assistant Director of Administration interns Ricci Conway, Cynthia Henthorn Nora Marsh corporate responsibility programs senior ACCOUNTant & benefits manager DIVISION & climate solutions DIRECTOR aCCOUNTs Receivable Specialist & Todd Larsen campaigns director Elizabeth O'Connell campaigns intern Corinne Molz Linda Carpenter Data entry Deanna Tilden accounting intern Fangting Wang Member services coordinator Nicolas Biber clean energy victory bonds outreach fellow Matt Jennings donor & volunteer administrative clean energy victory bonds assistant Takiya Louers, Valerie Pejoro intern Yasmin Hussain ATTORNEY Lara Pearson GMO campaign coordinator Shireen Karimi founder/president emeritus GMO campaign research Fellow Paul Freundlich Ryan Beville Board of DIRECTORs Georgie Benardete, Bernard Brennan, Dana Christianson, Paul Freundlich, Alisa Gravitz, Denise Hamler, Eric Henry, Andrew Korfhage, Krista Kurth, Julie Lineberger, Deborah Momsen-Hudson Green American magazine (ISSN: 0885-9930) is free with Green America Individual Membership (starting at $20/year) or Green Business Network Membership (starting at $130/year). For address changes or individual membership information, call 800/58-GREEN or e-mail For Green Business Network information, call 202/872-5316 or e-mail For article reprints, call 202/872-5307 or e-mail Green America, 1612 K St. NW, #600, Washington, DC 20006 800/58-GREEN fax 202/331-8166 The Big Picture: Living Green Costs Less Dear Green Americans: s it possible to go green on a budget? Absolutely! We've packed this issue with strategic tips and advice—from our staff as well as Green America members—on the biggest budget areas outside of mortgages or rent: clothing, food, energy, and transportation. For the biggest savings, use the most strategic tool of all, what we call "category" or "big- picALISA ture" holistic thinking: Look at each category of GRAVITZ your budget and find the savings there so you can then afford the green choices in that category. For example, when it comes to clothes, if you buy many pieces secondhand, or get them for free at swaps, you can afford a beautiful organic cotton or hemp suit. (And that suit might not actually cost any more than a conventional suit of comparable quality—a good suit is an investment, why not make it green?) What I find when I talk to our members around the country, is that people who choose to go green and use this holistic thinking for their entire set of living choices actually spend less, at every income level, thanks to their green-living decisions. People choosing to live green are more likely to save money overall, because: • They're committed to elegant simplicity—using fewer resources, which means buying less, wasting less, saving more. • They've made a major commitment to energy efficiency (p. 17). They've often reduced their energy bills by a third or half. (That pays for a lot of organic food!) • They're open to buying clothes and other items at yard sales, thrift stores, and the burgeoning second-time-around online sites (p. 14). • They drive less, walk and bike more, and own fewer cars (p. 22). • They share, swap, and build community—getting more of what they need without spending cash (p. 18). • They make their own (p. 22), grow their own (p.16), and eat less meat (p. 16). • They avoid dry cleaning, saving an average of $600-$1,000 a year (p. 14). • They are less likely to go to big box stores—where items may cost less, but the lower quality means replacing items more often. Worse, these stores are designed to convince people to buy, so families often leave having purchased two to three times more than they intended when they walked in the door. The money people save through these choices makes it possible for them to pay more for green choices that might cost more—like organic food—but are healthier, higher quality, safer, and better for people and the planet. Best of all, our members report that this holistic thinking brings them healthier, happier lives with more connections to family, friends, and community. Here's to living well and spending less, I Copyright 2013. Printed on 100% de-inked recycled fiber, elemental chlorine-free. m Designates an approved member of Green America's Green Business Network® Alisa Gravitz, President/CEO 3

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