Eco-friendly Tips That Keep Your Budget In Mind

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This post was written by Wesabe’s Community Manager, Allese.

I spent a good two minutes in the supermarket the other night debating instant cornbread mixes. Both the same brand. Both cornbread. Both instant. But a $2.50 price difference.

No, one wasn’t a Family Pack size or some deluxe version of cornbread. One was simply organic. The package smugly informed me of this in red, cursive letters across a steaming pan of cornbread.

Now, some people would have grabbed the cheap one and moved on to the eggs. However, I found myself seriously mulling over the merits of organic instant cornbread mix and whether or not it was worth $2.50.

Then I came to my senses and remembered I was buying instant cornbread for pete’s sake! I grabbed the non-organic, cheap one, and, with a quick pang of green guilt, moved on to the eggs.

This got me thinking about the organic versus non-organic battle and the quite high, price difference. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking the merits of organic food. I am essentially on organic automatic in the fruit and vegetable aisle, the meat aisle too. I also think that paying a bit more to promote better farming practices is important. But an extra $2.50 for instant cornbread??!! It’s friggin’ instant! What’s next? Organic Pepsi? $4.00 a can?

So today, I took great interest in the daily green tip I get from this really cool website, called Ideal Bite that leaves an eco-living tip in my inbox every morning. This one, called, “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: Scary High Organic Food Prices Freaking You Out?” quickly assuaged my cornbread guilt. It read:

“We’d love to buy everything organic, but we usually don’t have the cash to go all out. So if you’ve only got a little extra to spend on organics, put it toward the produce items that tend to have more pesticide residue. A few of us have pretty much memorized the Environmental Working Group’s pocket guide (see the list below) as a result.”

The Benefits of The List

Less bloodcurdling. Pesticides won’t actually curdle your blood (as far as we know), but more than 80% of the most common pesticides are potentially carcinogenic.

Not freaking out other animals. Pesticides aren’t just toxic to the intended pests – they can also harm other animals as well.

Averting bill-induced chills. Budgets are tight, so if you can only splurge a little on organic food, spend where it counts.

It then provided me with a nice list of the top-10 produce items that you should buy organic:

1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Bell Peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Lettuce
9. Grapes (imported)
10. Pears

Wesabe’s Frugal Foodies Group has had a lot of great discussions, so I posted this list and the organic vs. non-organic question there.  Stop by to join in the discussion!
I came across Ideal Bite on the web the other day, when my daily BBC check took me on an unusually long link journey. I found myself at Ideal Bite, “a sassier shade of green”, and read:

“Welcome! We know that you would just love to “do the right thing” for yourself and the planet if it were convenient, fun, inexpensive, and made you feel good. But until now you have lacked a good source of advice for real people leading busy lives.

Congrats. Now you have a free one. Easy eco-living tips are delivered in a short, sassy email each weekday.”

And every morning, like clockwork, a green minded tip greets me in my mailbox. You can also choose to receive tips catered specifically toward several different cities, San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., as well as the UK and Canada.

The site is well designed and filled with interesting facts. When clicking on the San Francisco page I read that:

“If 10,000 SF Biters eat only locally produced food for a year, we’ll save enough gas to drive from SF to the Bronx and back nearly 30 times.”

I also found out about a new Farmers Market in San Francisco that happens on Sunday … nice!

So, if you want to become a “biter”, check it out here.


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