Frugal Fashionistas Unite.
Model, activist, Discovery Channel correspondent, and author of the book Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion and Beauty, Summer Rayne Oakes has been going green her entire life. As a college student building her career in cause-related modeling—or working with more environmentally- or socially-conscious designers and projects—she had to find out ways to save time and money. She lets us in on her top 10 tips to effortlessly go green, save time and money, and look fabulous while you’re doing it.
10. Ward Off Junk
Junk mail with junk stuff just tempts us to buy more junk. You can eliminate 90 percent of unwanted junk mail through Greendimes.com. When you sign up, they will remove your name from all mailing lists that you don’t want to be on, which will save trees and reduce carbon emissions.
9. Get $$ for Your Phone
You know we girls have the gift of gab, so why not turn your old phone into a little extra pocket change? Greenphone.com will tell you how much your old cell or PDA is worth and allows you to mail it in for some cold hard cash. Phones have hazardous chemicals that can contaminate our groundwater anyway, so we might as well get some green by going green.
8. Car Share in Style
You don’t need to own your own wheels to cruise around town. Zipcar, a car share program that’s available in over 40 cities, will be sure to keep you rolling. If you’re a Zipcar member, you can arrive at a designated area, swipe your card on the windshield, get in, and go. No need to pay for gas or insurance—and it only costs $10 to $17 an hour. It’s that simple! And if a Subaru Outback is not your flavor, then check out their BMWs, MINI Coopers, and Priuses.
7. Get Free Stuff
Looking for something for you or your home? Freecycle.org has everything including the kitchen sink. Join the local e-mail group and you’ll find a list of items in your hood that your neighbors are willing to give away. All members who want items need to do is arrange to pick them up! And believe me, there is no shortage of stuff since Freecycle is in 80 countries and has over 5.5 million members worldwide.
6. Get “New” Clothes Without Spending a Dime
Haven’t you heard? Swapping is the new shopping, girls. Increase the size of your wardrobe overnight by doing a temporary—or permanent—swap with your friends. Grab some take-out, a stack of clothes, and have a girl’s night in to see what clothes you’d like to trade for a while.
5. Be Rewarded for Recycling
RecycleBank is a clever company that is coming to a town near you! The basic premise is you earn rewards for recycling in the form of RecycleBank Points that you can use at your local grocer, your hair salon, or even Starbucks. Check out Recyclebank.com to see if it’s in your neighborhood, or write your local officials to get it there. You can get up to $35 per month or $420 per year!
4. Look Like a Million Bucks
Girl, you don’t need to own that handbag, because we all know that in one season it’s going to be, well, soooooo last season anyway. Check out Bagborroworsteal.com. The site lends users designer handbags, purses, jewelry, sunglasses, and other accessories at a fraction of the price of what it would cost to own (a Louis Vuitton handbag would only set you back $43 per week or $125 per month).
3. Bring Your Own Bag
Forget all that paper or plastic. Look stylish and eco-conscious by bringing your own rocking print bag from Envirosax.com, your new recycled Payless bags (for each bag purchased, $1 goes to the Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign), or other trendy tote of your choosing with you to the grocery store.
2. Bronze Yourself
Got ashy, dull skin? Do what J.Lo does and use a liquid bronzer or moisturizer to give your skin a dewy, beautiful sheen. Physician’s Formula Organic wear 100% Natural Origin Liquid Bronzer is lightweight, hydrates the skin, is infused with organic fruit water, and is 84 percent certified organic with jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed oil, avocado oil, and shea butter. It also comes in three shades to suit your skin tone!
1. Dress for the Best
Sometimes more environmentally preferable fashions—you know, the stuff that uses organic materials (read: no pesticides or chemicals), for instance—is more cost-prohibitive. Fashionistas on a budget: 2009 is the year to find affordable eco clothing. Loomstate has partnered with Target to do an organic line, Wal-Mart has been hitting the ground running offering up organic products, Levi’s has gone green with its Eco line, and now we’re seeing some on-trend, fashion-forward footwear and accessories coming to a Payless near you with its new brand, zoe & zac. And if any of your stuff wears, tears, or breaks, maintain it by taking it to your local cobbler or tailor. Plus, you can find out more cool eco fashion finds in my book Style, Naturally, or at Stylenaturally.com.