Earth Day didn’t mean anything to me. And that isn’t me being selfish. It’s me being real. But here’s the deal: I am actually very aware of what I produce and what I waste with regard to the environment.
Who cares if I do it to save myself money?
It’s true. When I moved into my house 10 years ago I was leaving lights on in every room, buying more groceries than I could consume — basically all the expensive novelties you don’t give a crap about when you live at home with your parents.
You know what I mean. You’re not the one paying the bills so it doesn’t matter that your oblivious ways were costing someone else more money. And how many times would my mom nag me to turn off lights when I’m not in the room? Fine. She was right.
Fast forward to my own house and it wasn’t until a few months of paying utility bills and incurring other household expenses that I started to have a new appreciation for my money. (It’s also partially why I wrote my bestselling book The Official Guide to Being a Winnipeg Cheapskate.)
Admittedly, I am environmentally conscious when it saves me money. True, I recycle because it’s “the right thing to do” but when it comes to making choices about leaving the lights on or unplugging electronics that I am not using, the decision is made because it affects my pocketbook.
Sure, we can say that it doesn’t matter why I do it, it matters that I do it. But I certainly can’t say I am an Earth crusader because we only have one chance on this planet and it won’t rebuild itself and blah, blah, blah.
My point in all this isn’t to discredit the dedication and hard work of environmentalists, nor am I saying you should only respect this globe because it’ll save you money. What I’m saying is that maybe people would be more prone to making more responsible decisions if they looked at it a different way: it can be much cheaper for you to be more environmentally friendly.
At the end of the day I am doing my part, selfishly, because it saves me money. But I am doing my part. Are you?