I've always been an eco-friendly gal. In fact, I have quite a few friends who refer to me as the "hippy". It's not just the interest I've had in environmentalism since I was a child (seriously, my mother would buy me books on the subject), but my liberal stance on many issues.
I've realized lately though that I'm definetly not doing my share in the world. I use paper towels; I print up plenty of stuff for school that I could attempt not to; I don't buy all organic products (although in the shift).
How does this effect me financially? I've been wanting to subscribe to two different magazines for some time now. I LOVE getting magazine subscriptions in the mail. I nearly sent off for a subscription today when I took another moment to think about it. How much paper would that be using up just to sate my lust for reading? How many books do I already own (over 300)? How many pieces of paper, trees, and pollution went into that? In reality, I could read wine reviews online easily. I could find political articles like they have in Vanity Fair easily online.
In reality, I don't need magazine subscriptions when I can get that information online. In the process, I save myself money as well as helping the environment.
Beyond that, there are so many ways that eco-friendly products will save you money in the long run. A pack of dishtowels will cost more initially, but over time will last a lot longer than the equivalent rolls of paper towels in terms of price. My previous post on starting an herb garden will require an initial output of money, but once again will save me uber-amounts of money in the long run. B and I use garlic, jalapenos, green onions, cilantro and tomatoes on a weekly basis. I use rosemary and thyme a couple times a week. We'll be saving money, but we'll know for a fact that we are gardening our products without pesticides. Furthermore, the products won't be shipped.
I currently re-use the stockpile of Trader Joe paper bags I have. Once those give out, I'm going to get a cloth bag to carry my groceries in. B and I will often walk to little eateries around here instead of driving. There's lots of little changes that can add up in the long run.
How do you save money while being eco-friendly?