One of the greatest perks of working at a credit union is having the opportunity to get out into the community we serve and becoming involved in the things our members care about. A perfect example of that is getting to work with Sustain Mizzou again to promote the second annual Sustainability Week.
Sustainability Week includes a number of events that showcase sustainable resources at Mizzou. Each day of the week highlights a different aspect of sustainability which expands beyond environmentalism into campus life, culture, research, technology, business, even our daily lives.
Part of our involvement in Sustainability Week consisted of donating the reusable bags giveaway. But as a financial institution, our greatest contribution is informing the public on how to live financially sustainable. Check out our guide for 5 ways to cut back, save money and lighten your footprint.
2. Eat clean and local. Contrary to convincing packaging, not all labels are created equal. Lisa Freeman, editor in chief of ShopSmart magazine, says that the “grass-fed” label on meat is meaningless, but you should buy USDA-certified organic meats, poultry and dairy products.
Organic foods are usually more expensive, so we suggest splurging only on organics that don’t have a peel like berries. Non-organic foods like bananas and avocadoes are fine since they have protection. Farmer’s markets are the way to go for fresh produce. The Columbia Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m.-noon through November.
3. Utilize online bill pay. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that paper bills use hundreds of gallons of fuel each year! With our new bill pay program, Bill PayXL, you’ll save on postage and can set up handy automatic payments and reminders.
4.Unplug! Turn off the lights, the computer, the T.V. and the phone. Enjoy the company of friends without these distractions. According to financial advisors, turning off electronics for 18 hours each day could save you $131 over the course of a year.
5. Make a green budget. If you want to clean up your lifestyle, there are immediate changes that will allow you to afford living in a way that promotes sustainability. We offer a free account aggregate called uni$ource that allows you to monitor all your finances in one place as well as create a budget and track your spending. Take a look at your current habits and pick out ones that are wasteful. Cut back your spending in those areas first — the money you save can be used to support habits that are healthier for you and for the earth.
Sustainability Week continues through Friday. For more information or for a complete schedule of events, check out the Sustain Mizzou website or get involved with the Sustainability Office on campus. We’re all in this together!