Perhaps not everyone knows that the best way to manage money is to invest the money and not to spend it.
A classic example to better understand this concept is that of the small bottle of water. It can happen to someone to often buy water in half-liter plastic bottles to drink when he or she is around, since they are practical, weigh little, take little space, and you can also keep them in your bag. Every euro spent for the little bottle, but sometimes they cost even more than one euro, is a wasted euro, because you could bring water from home, or you could use public fountains to quench your thirst. Many little bottles purchased are many euros spent and not invested.
A better choice could be to reuse the same plastic small bottle several times, filling it at home before going out or recharging it at the street fountains. If the problem is to always have fresh water available, you could also buy a small cooler bag, spending about two euros, to contain the small bottle. If the problem is the chlorine, just let it evaporate for about ten minutes before closing the cap. If the problem is the hardness, that is the presence of calcium and magnesium in the water, think that for vegans water is a vital and non negligible primary source for assimilating calcium.
Plastic can be a health hazard, since it often contains a substance called BPA (bisphenol A), which is soluble in water (ref. 1) and which is released above all with heat, in fact it is not recommended to put plastic containers in the microwave oven or in the dishwasher. This harmful substance is also contained in the linings of some cans and could pass into the food. You could have undesired effects on behavior, on the health of brain and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and children. It could also result in an increase in blood pressure.
The wisest choice is to use a half-liter aluminum water bottle (five euros), which enters the small cooler bag (about two euros). This way not only you do not waste money on the little bottles, but also reduce pollution due to their production, their transport and their disposal or recycling, do not increase the greenhouse effect, do not feed climate change and, as a result, you reduce intensity and frequency of natural disasters. Moreover, you do not support the use of non-renewable resources, because plastic is a petroleum product, which is renewed in geological eras and that feeds wars.
Does it seem exaggerated to you? Perhaps it is for your single small bottle, but try to add up all those that you, your family, your friends, your acquaintances, your colleagues, and the strangers buy. Across the planet, they are several millions people, perhaps billions. This means investing well your money and invest in health, peace and collective well-being.
Another way to invest your money in health and well-being is buying vegan food. In the book of Simone Salvini “Cucina vegana” (Vegan Cuisine) (ref. 2) it is shown what you can buy, for instance, with about 20 euros. A carnivore could buy a kilogram (1 pound is about 0.45 kilos) of fillet steak. A vegan could buy a kilo of basmati rice (2.50 euros), a kilo of dried lentils (2.50 euros), a kilo of sliced bread (2 euros), a kilo of potatoes (1 euro), a kilo of zucchini (2 euros in the book, but here they cost 1 euro), a kilo of carrots (2 euros), a kilo of red tomatoes (2.50 euros), a kilo of apples (2 euros) and a kilo of oranges (2,50 euros), for a total expense of 19.50 euros.
If you could buy through the short supply chain, that is by selling directly from producer to consumer, you may have similar prices for the same products, but organic. An example of local sales, at zero miles, is that of Cortocircuito flegreo (Phlegraean short-circuit). This way you would invest the money in your health both directly, that is by feeding, and indirectly, that is drastically decreasing pollution due to transport of goods and to the use of hazardous chemicals. In addition, fresh products are tastier and keep all the nutrients better.
Vegan shopping can save money, can save pollution, can save suffering, protects investments, improves health, protects the environment, and contributes to global well-being.
And remember to bring your reusable cloth bag when you go shopping. 😉
Paola Morgese, PMP
Civil Hydraulic Engineer
M.S. Sanitary and Environmental Engineering
- Simone Salvini, Cucina vegana, Mondadori, 2012
Translation of the Italian blog post: Paola Morgese, Come risparmiare e mantenersi in salute con la spesa vegana