Principles of Frugality and Ethics

Why Live Sustainably?

  • June 25, 2014
  • 2 min read

Relaxing with chai and chocolate.
Relaxing with chai and chocolate.

The following is an extract from my upcoming book, Shoestring Sustainability.

If you find yourself drawn to sustainable living but feel torn between upholding your ideals and other needs (convenience, cost, what other people will think or say), it might help you to clarify why you are doing it. This will also be useful if people you care about don’t understand your lifestyle choices or requests (eg. your husband doesn’t see why turning off the lights matters, your children think you’re crazy for reusing plastic containers).

For me, it’s about much more than saving a few dollars. I am living sustainably, organically, ethically and frugally because:


  • I want hope for the future; for my own children and for the world.

  • It gives me a sense of integrity when I live lightly on the earth and support others to do the same. I feel like I’m being real. I believe in this stuff.

  • I feel like I’m making a difference. It gives me a purpose and lots to aim for.

  • It connects me to other networks of people who care about community and the earth.

  • I believe in human equality, and using less stuff feels more fair and reasonable to me.

  • Buying less new consumer goods frees me up to support small business, organic produce, and other choices that are more meaningful to me.

  • Living on a low income allows me to spend my time with my precious family.

  • I believe food you grow yourself is far fresher, healthier and tastier. Organic living improves air quality and reduces the chemical load in our bodies.

Gumboots ready for action.
Gumboots ready for action.

Which of these resonate for you?

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