The 3 R’s to Adopt an Ecological Approach to Your Finances.

The 3 R’s to Adopt an Ecological Approach to Your Finances.

“Money Be Green.” ~ D’Angelo Barksdale from “The Wire”

When the Amazon and Congo Basin were burning, back in 2019, because of economic reasons through deforestation executed by lobbyist actions for us to consume more meat and create more roads, respectively, in a context of global warming… I wondered what I could personally do to make a change at my local level, since I am a stakeholder as a potential consumer as well as a human being from a global community; when I bumped into the 3 R’s, namely: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.


Let’s pause for a minute and start from where we are, having a look at our surroundings and analyzing what we already have. Coming from a western society, chances are we actually have more than enough: several shoes, numerous garments including old ones and others rarely used, a few connected gadgets. While being guilty of purchasing those things, we are not the only ones to blame since we are incentivized to consume as well as to conform to social constructed norms.

Being aware of it is the first step before making the conscious decision to either radically stop or progressively slowing down such compulsive behaviors and this is where conscious consumerism begin. Conscious consumerism is the practice of reflecting critically about the purpose of a purchase by asking oneself several questions such as: where is it from, how was it produced, by who and how? why do I want to buy it, is it really coming from me or am I being incentivized to do so? Does it help me reach my goals? If so, to what extent? How much do I really need? Do I actually need it?

Speaking of needs, Abraham Maslow’s work remain a classical model to follow and keep in mind.

I would argue that our basic needs that include food, clothes, shelter and finances among other things are the ones where we have the greater control over (in theory) but where we get largely distracted by the abundance of choices offered to us, thus eventually making uneducated choices with unnecessary purchases.

Those unnecessary purchases are also making us poorer since it refers to hard-earned money out of our pockets to (in)directly finance other people’s dreams and projects. Which is fine, if it is specifically what it is intended as long as another sum of money is set to work for you during your sleep and working hours through investments through rental property for instance. Thus, the importance of spending your money wisely, even reducing its wastage.


Recycle refers to the practice of giving another life to a product once its original lifecycle comes to an end.

Generally speaking, it reminds me the importance of reinventing oneself. Back in 2020, I graduated with a MSc in Business Administration and started working as an associate recruitment consultant in Amsterdam, being exposed to the Human Resources and “Hunting” World, not necessarily connected to my academic career but being involved in a somewhat different field following the end of my studies surely was beneficial for me to develop myself.

Financially speaking, it reminds me the value of investing in one’s education. I recall the time, when in 2021, I went to the bank to borrow 8,000€ to join a bootcamp to learn how to code in Portugal. This occurred after my short yet necessary chapter as a “headhunter”. Once graduated from the bootcamp, I found a job as a junior Software Engineer in Paris. This move alone made my annual salary jumped from 27,000€ as a recruiter to 38,000€ as a developer.

Keep recycling yourself periodically, there is no time, opportunity or money to waste.


Reuse is rather straightforward. The goals here are to not waste any further as well as to not buy more than necessary, staying then faithful to the reduce principle.

Eco-friendly speaking, this can refer to thrift shops where second hand items can be bought at a ridiculously low price.

Financially speaking, I see it as a system. Tracking and tracing cash flows, spotting blind spots where money is being misused or even wasted, I enjoy using the surplus as a revenue stream to invest in penny stocks, cryptocurrencies and affordable stocks for example, where dividends can be reused.


Once again, the title is rather catchy since 3 definitely is the “magic number”. However, I came across a fourth R that, to my opinion, surely is worth mentioning:


We are living in an incredible time where an abundance of information, products and services are at our fingertip. This also comes with inconveniences such as misinformation, fake products and malicious scams.

The problem is that such behavior can also be legitimatized and incentivized, this is a dark aspect of marketing, despite being a vital activity for a business to promote its goods, services and to reach the right audience, it also won’t hesitate to use science to capitalize on our weaknesses and insecurities to urge us to consume to make its profits by creating unnecessary needs. Others will even exploit our guilt and promote eco-friendly-looking outputs through greenwashing.

Thus, the importance of being aware of what one truly needs to be rich and being able to refuse when necessary, for one’s wallet sake and our common planet.

Think Glocal, Act Local!

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