Green-onomics: a common cents approach to parenting that’ll save you lots of money

During my morning Internet (s)troll, I kept clicking upon a familiar theme: green. The Daily Green was part of it, of course, along with a host of other green living, green tech and green parenting sites. But I’m not talking eco; I’m talking moolah, dough, rhino, spondulicks…

Today I have got “my mind on my money and my money on my mind” because I just paid a massive energy bill, despite the fact that I live in one of the most temperate corners of the world.

As we know, one of the most important aspects of parenting (the Safe Care way, especially) is conducting our jobs with the understanding that the little choices we make – zap it in the microwave or cook it the real way…douse the house in bleach or stop! and think about what’s in that stuff; turn on the central heating or put on a sweater – are seen, heard, and emulated by our kids.

It’s not a “I’ll be happy when…” sort of arrangement. It’s a here and now oriented gig being a mom or dad, with a hidden agenda attached: parenting towards the future since that’s where we’re all headed anyway.

The future is green:
I’m still not talking eco. We’ll get there in a minute, I promise.

The first stop on my Internet (s)troll was a thoughtful post about using allowances and the family budget to teach teens about money management. Nothing earth shattering there, right? Most of us were bequeathed with an allowance and it (theoretically) taught us the value of money.

Sadly, a big chunk of mine was spent on soda pop and French fries! Nothing learned and nothing gained in my teen years, I’m afraid.

Pensieve via Simple Mom, on the other hand, spelled it out in much broader terms. She and her spouse used a spreadsheet to track the correlation between expenditures and, well, the value of the life lessons her teens received.

Among other things, they noted altered spending habits:

Because it was now their dollars to spend, they were more careful about their choices.  Before allowance, my youngest would easily spend our money for a weekly lunch card ($20). When it was his money to spend, he elected to take his lunch most days…

Sibling collaboration:

If there was something another sibling might enjoy, they pooled their money to make a purchase.

And, even more telling, her kids started to weigh the real cost of stuff.

They’re thinking more carefully about their spending choices…they are thinking beyond “today.”

Okay, not earth shattering—but when we enable these choices in our kids, it has the potential to be earth saving.

Green talks…we’re getting warmer
Now for something a little bit more eco-minded, but it’s still all about the Benjamins, baby.

Two surveys released this week reveal how green technology makes practical dollars and sense for families all over the world.

In Australia, a solar power installation company, Sun Connect, released a survey demonstrating that “rising electricity bills have a major influence on homeowner’s decisions to go solar.”

In fact, when solar panel owners were asked why they originally converted to solar, the results show that people were 2.6 times more likely to identify “electricity bills too high” than to claim “environmental responsibility” as the primary reason behind their shift to renewable energy.

Considering my ire with my energy supplier, I get it. But remember all that stuff I was talking about before…you know about the choices we make as parents, moment by mommy moment? I’ve got only myself to blame. It’s time I learned how to knit.

News out of the United States was just as practical. There, a new poll shows that a huge chunk of voters (76%) now believe that a healthy environment and healthy economy are not mutually exclusive: they co-exist because, as family money managers understand, it makes green dollars and copper sense for our health and collective future.

Moving to another planet does not.

Although moving to a different suburb might…
Per Sustainablog, a new report from Jonathan Rose Companies and the EPA shows that, in terms of total energy use, living “…within a quarter to a half a mile of a transit stop,” is more likely to produce the greatest energy savings for a home. Much more than the finest gadgets, panels and fixtures that green renovation can buy.

If you don’t want to call the movers just yet, call your local reps at the very least and get your community some sidewalks for green’s sake.

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