How Laid-Off Workers Can Stay Green and Save Money

After the pink slip, here are some green steps for your time in between jobs.

By + More

After the pink slip, it's time for downsized workers go into extreme savings mode, which means that being green is probably the last thing on their mind. Can't blame 'em - after the severance package runs out, expensive organic food will drop off of the grocery list, and the new Energy Star appliances you were planning to buy for your house become a distant dream. But a lot of the actions that unemployed workers take to cut costs and help them find their next job are eco-friendly, both intentionally and inadvertently. Here are a few:

  • If you're young and single, move in with a roommate. Not only will this save you cash, but you'll also be consuming fewer resources than you would on your own.
  • Buy food in bulk to save on groceries. Make giant meals, split them into portions, and freeze them for quick dinners later. Use coupons to find deals. Your grocery bill will go down even further if you cut out meat and processed foods.
  • Cooking your own meals is drastically cheaper than going out. Instead of evenings out at restaurants and nightclubs, host friends for potluck dinners, or go to house parties instead of nightclubs.
  • Don't renew your gym membership - instead, pull your bike out of the garage. While it wouldn't be advisable to bike to your big job interview if you think it will leave you looking disheveled or sweaty, a bike can help you run your errands during the day, and keep you in shape from those hours in front of the computer.
  • Instead of buying a new suit for interviews, see if you can update an old one with some strategic tailoring.
  • If internet and cable are unnecessary expenses, take your laptop to coffeeshops to browse job search sites and catch up on shows.
  • Utilize your local library for help with your job search, and borrow, rather than buy, resume advice books.
  • Opt for the recycled paper when you print out your resume.
  • Spring clean your apartment by clearing out old stuff that can be recycled for cash.