Green break rooms & splurge/scrimp – Friday Wrap-Up

The Green Boot Camp blog had a great post this week on greening your break room (or teacher’s lounge, etc.). She lists a number of great ideas to help business settings cut out waste. Don’t forget a refillable water solution instead of plastic bottles! And of course, pitch in to wash up.

Free Money Finance addressed MSN’s list of items to splurge or scrimp on. Here’s my take:

  • Mattress: SPLURGE. Well, I’m thinking about it anyway. We have a moderately priced mattress that we’ve hated from Day 1 … and that was three years ago.
  • Men’s dress shirt: SPLURGE … ish. My husband’s Land’s End no-iron dress shirt is the best. But my very favorite is to get splurge shirts for cheap.
  • Chef’s knife: SPLURGE … ish. We have a great Santoku from Target. But I disagree with their saying you only need one chef’s knife … our two are frequently in use.
  • Women’s shirts: SKIMP. “Cute tops from H&M will go out of style before they fall apart,” they say. Not to mention stains and stuff …
  • Overcoat: SPLURGE. Again, splurge on sale. My overcoat was originally priced at $300-something, but I paid $29 at Macy’s.
  • Accent chair: SKIMP. Um … I don’t have room for accent chairs in my home, so I just say no.
  • Table linens: SKIMP. Definitely. Anything that is guaranteed to stain is a “skimp” in my book.

What say you?


8 thoughts on “Green break rooms & splurge/scrimp – Friday Wrap-Up

  1. L'an says:

    Mattress… splurge within reason. I was so impressed when I moved from a (cheap!) futon to a real mattress, and it really does make a difference to how you sleep. But I have family members who’ve spend thousands (literally) on mattresses with the latest “sleep technology” who less than two years later are convinced that their mattresses are terrible.

    Women’s clothes… mix-n-match. Definitely worth splurging on a high quality suit of natural materials that won’t shrink at the dry cleaner (as nylon/acetate and the like are prone to do) but anything sorta trendy: better to collect on bargain sale.

    Chef’s knife… totally agree with you. I need the 8″ for larger produce, prefer the 6″ for basic chopping, but both are in regular rotation in our kitchen! And I’ve picked up some great knives from Target, too–especially things like paring knives.

  2. Leah Ingram says:

    Thanks for highlighting Green Boot Camp’s post about greening a break room or teacher’s lounge. I hope your readers find the advice helpful. And if they have other ideas on how to make a break room or teacher’s lounge less wasteful, I’d love to hear them!


  3. LT Ellis says:

    Mattresses are a definite splurge within reason. Your health is too important to scrimp on. Buy the *best you can afford*. I love Lands’ End clothing and outfit our whole family with them almost exclusively. That being said, we almost never pay full price. Their Overstocks items are frequently real deals. We also stick to classic styles and colors that can be mixed and matched to get the most out of fewer pieces. Their clothes last and the classic styles can be dressed up or down and inexpensive accessories add flair. I’m not interested in trends anyway. We go for natural fabrics to be kind to ourselves and the earth as well.

  4. spindalinda says:

    Enjoying your blog. Surprized not to see spinning on the list of things we do to live greener. Suggestion, scrimp on desinger dogs…”buy” from the pound or “real” rescue organizations. Spluge on time spent with your new friend.
    Tropical Twister

  5. spindalinda says:

    Enjoying your blog. Surprized not to see spinning on the list of things we do to live greener. Suggestion, scrimp on designer dogs…”buy” from the pound or “real” rescue organizations. Spluge on time spent with your new friend.
    Tropical Twister

  6. alottaerrata says:

    I’d rather stick to classic women’s styles and splurge on organic or recycled materials than have a ton of cheap but trendy things from H&M. Of course, I do like to have one or two trendy type things, but I think stores like H&M help us to become over-consumers. We think “oh it’s just a few dollars…” but those cheap items can add up fast, and then they go out of style in a matter of months.

  7. Aggie Janicot says:

    I stumbled on your site while reading The Simple Dollar… thought it was cool that you were debating the same article as me. I didn’t like the MSN article because it seemed a little upper-class snobby to me. Instead of posting 500+ words, you can click on the article I wrote instead. 😀

    here’s some of it:
    Herbs and seasonings: they can make a cheap cut of meat worthwhile. There are some neat tricks though— get yourself a good cookbook or look it up on the web. Recently I found five or six recipes for garam masala… and since the stuff is near four dollars at Kroger for a small glass bottle, making it yourself from scratch will save a bunch. It’s not as complicated as I thought.

    Shoes: If you’re on your feet a lot, get the best you can afford. Your back and legs will thank you.

    Sheets: Nothing sucks more than washing your cheap sheets for the first time and they come out of the wash with pills (little lint balls that then turn to sandpaper on your skin). That happened to me and I will never buy cheap crappy sheets again. I’m also a total bedpig. I possibly spend more time in my sheets than I do in jeans.

    I remember my great grandmother’s linen/cotton sheets and pillow cases lasting 20+ years because they were rotated, washed and sun dried. Body oils and bacteria will actually ruin the organic fibers of your sheets, so wash often.

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