It was a different world back then in many many ways. Life wasn’t quite as “convenient” as it is now with Starbucks and Dollar General on every corner. You may not have associated the past with being more eco-friendly but it definitely was!
1. They Drank Water From Glass Cups
They probably drank from the tap, which was cleaner water back then. The idea of drinking from a plastic bottle that was thrown away afterward would have been a laughable idea!
2. They Collected Rainwater
Speaking of water, they saved water from the sky! How ingenious. Instead of relying solely on a watering hose, the average house today can collect approximately 8,000 gallons of rainwater a year! That’s nuts! By either dunking watering cans into a barrel or having a hose attached at the bottom you could get all your garden watering needs done with this system.
3. They Grew Their Own Food
Another key thing pasted generations did that was eco-friendly was growing their own food. Whether that was a huge farm-sized garden or a little backyard one, everyone had their own fresh homemade vegetables.
Have you ever noticed that at the supermarket, nearly every vegetable is wrapped in plastic? Not is that a little gross considering the chemicals present in plastic today, it definitely was not a reusable package! If you do get veggies from the supermarket, you can always bring reusable veggie bags made of cotton.
4. They Preserved Their Own Food
The idea of supermarkets is really a new concept. For many generations, people would plant their own gardens and at the end of summer, preserve their bountiful harvests for the cold winter season. There was much less food waste back then and we can learn that even preserving a small harvest is reducing waste today!
5. Cooked At Home, and Cooked From Scratch
Everyone knew how to make biscuits and everyone ate delicious from-scratch meals. Today, these types of meals are often thought of as comfort food-milk, butter, cheese, eggs, meat, and vegetables were the heart of every meal. In reality, these were the foods people have been consuming (without gaining weight) for thousands of generations.
6. Spent More Time Outside
When you are spending all this time planting, cultivating and harvesting, by default you spend a great amount of time outdoors and getting lots of physical activity in your day on a regular basis (hence not gaining weight from all the yummy food). Everyone used to be outside most of the day. It’s a great way to break bad (and unnecessary) spending habits!
7. Bought Less, Saved More
There was too much to do at home to go on a wild shopping spree! Our grandparents were accidentally more eco-friendly this way. Think about all the resources it takes to drive to the mall, buy lunch or dinner out, and buy things we didn’t know we needed until we saw it on a mannequin or on the furniture display!
They also didn’t just throw something away if it broke. They fixed furniture and mended clothing until it was absolutely toast.
8. Saved Resturants For Special Occasions
Whereas most people today think a homecooked meal is a delicacy, for our grandparents going out to eat was a rarity and a luxury! This was only done for birthdays or big celebrations. Imagine how much less waste we’d have today if we didn’t eat out? That would be a sight to see. There wouldn’t be Wendy’s cups strewn about on the roads or plastic straws occupying our oceans.
9. Brought Their Lunch To Work
It wasn’t an uncommon sight to see a man on his way to work, clutching a lunch box packed with love from his wife.
10. Dried Clothes On A Clothesline
Freshly cleaned linens were hung on a line in a very unintentionally eco-friendly manner and is also better for your clothes in the long run. This is something I could work on…laundry isn’t really my cup of tea so they usually go in the dryer for speedy turnaround.
11. They Used High Quality Products That Lasted
Cast iron, solid oak doors and old wells are still around (and usable) from over a hundred years ago! You can’t say that about pots and pans that only last a year’s time or doors that wear out over time. When grandpa built something, it was going to last for generations if properly cared for. Even cast iron pans that are old and rusty can be revitalized by someone who’s willing.
This is not the end of the list…
But it’s a great start to get you thinking of ways to be more eco friendly and in turn save some money too!
Do you practice any of these eco friendly tips? Let me know in the comments below.
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