Living the low-income life, when done well, is a very green way of living. Think about it: If you have little money or are trying to save the money you do have, then you are less likely to be wasteful. Low-income families often follow this rule: Reduce, reuse and recycle, whether they realize it or not.
Because there is little money to spend, low-income families do not generally purchase as much as other families might. They must more carefully consider each item that they decide to buy, and may have to decide against many purchases all together.
Low-income families often reuse items within the household. Clothes are often saved to be passed down from one child to the next. Glass bottles that were purchased with food inside may be washed and saved for storing leftovers in the refrigerator at a later date, and old towels will end up in the rag bin.
These families will also reuse unwanted items from others, such as clothes and furniture. These items may be given to them, or purchased at yard sales and thrift shops.
Families will also share their castoffs with others. Once an item will no longer be needed, it is often given to someone else to use, with or without compensation. For instance, once clothing has been passed down within the household, it will be given to someone with younger children if still in decent condition. When clothing is no longer useful buttons and zippers may be taken from them and used for later sewing projects.
In the end, this means that landfills acquire far less waste than they could if everyone purchased brand new items and threw them out without sharing.
Shannon L. Buck, Freelance Writer
Front page photo by jen light/Flickr
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