Grandma didn’t have 39 different detergents to choose from back in her day. She didn’t have single use packages of hot cocoa. Her family ate on plates that were washed instead of thrown away – take out was non-existent. She took care of her clothing with basic life skills like sewing buttons. Grandpa took care of his tools by oiling them after use. Kids handed down jackets and sweaters. Socks were darned when they developed holes. Tending the garden was a family chore. Laundry was hung to dry.
Where did we go wrong?
We have so much more technology and ease of living these days, but at what expense? I am a child of the 80’s where “go big or go home” was a life lesson. Everything had to be bigger and better – even our hair – eek. Wasteful living became a status symbol and now many of us are wondering what the hell we were thinking.
The movement to live a Less Waste life is not something new. Our grandparents did it before it was trendy. So, what can we learn from them? How can we return to those simpler ways with all that we have learned in the past 75 years? My remaining grandparent died last year (she was well into her 90’s) and all of a sudden, I have so much to ask her about her life. I grew up helping both sets of grandmothers hang their laundry to dry on a clothesline. It was always a task that I regarded as something I “just needed to do to help my grandma” but now I am finding a need to do it myself. Not just to save electricity, but because there was something quiet, simple and grounding about using mother nature’s breezes to help make my life easier. And that is what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Being closer to our earth. Utilizing what we have. Getting back to basics.
Growing food, herbs, fruits and nuts using soil, water and sun. Reheating food on the stovetop. Drying clothes with the breeze. Learning life skills so we fix more and throw away less. Making our own products in bulk to reduce waste. Planning ahead in order to use less fossil fuels. Reusing and repurposing items to have less waste. Supporting small and local businesses. These are just a few things that we should be doing more of these days instead of less of.
I am on this journey myself and would love to help others make small changes as well. If you are interested or are on a similar journey, let’s connect!
Happy Simpler Living!