Ask On Begley Street: Living green on a budget
Photo: Green Stock Photos
From the On Begley Street mailbox:
Q:I have followed you, and your endeavors in trying to improve our environment. My question, after seeing the movie on your house, is: How does one, with limited income, try to live “off the grid,” or as much “off” as possible with such a minimal income such as mine? Do you have any suggestions?
I know I may be presuming too much, but I’m 85, and just fed up with the way “big money” is forcing me to live. As a child was simpler and easier, and cheaper. We grew our vegetables, and raised our chickens, and even had a hog. This was in the CITY! Now, they don”t even want you to barbeque in one’s own backyard. HELP! — Robert
A: I always suggest that people do as I did in 1970 when I was 20 years old and totally broke. And that is to pick the low-hanging fruit first.
What I mean by that is to do all the stuff that’s cheap & easy first:
Energy-saving light bulbs
Weather stripping around the doors & windows
Public transportation, if available near you
Bike riding, if weather & fitness permit
Then, if you save money on that (& you will!), you can move up the ladder and do other things that cost a bit more, and save more money, etc. Things like a solar oven, and good insulation.
And if you save money from that (& you will!), you can move up the ladder again, and who knows, perhaps one day an alternative fuel car, or maybe even solar panels!
The point is to do something, ONE thing for today.
Then, tomorrow, do some more.
All the best,