Up until halfway through the last century, people ate, washed and cleaned with what they had, not what they bought in plastic containers in grocery stores.
The reason we should care? Not only are some old-fashioned habits better for the environment, they often save us money. Online, frugal and green blogs have been aflutter with tips for saving on water, gas and groceries:
- Use Cloth Napkins. You’ll have to add these to your laundry pile, but you’ll contribute less paper waste every day, and you’ll save on buying napkins and paper towels.
- Catch Rainwater. Your system could be as simple as a barrel or trash can under a down spout. Do a search online for others that filter pollutants and maximize collection. At a minimum, you can use collected water for your lawn and garden; filtered water could also be used indoors. Not only will you save money on your water bill, you won’t feel guilty about your lush, green lawn.
- Line dry your clothes. Yep. You read it right. Your grandma or great-grandma surely did it and eco-conscious frugalistas are bringing this ancient tradition back to yards everywhere. OK, you don’t have to hang dry every load, but if you cut your drying time in half, you’ll see your electric bill take a dip before you can say spin cycle.
- Walk. As a culture we’ve become conditioned to think that if you have to walk for more than five minutes, it’s worth taking the car. But imagine if there was no car. Would you walk to the post office, maybe stopping off for a bag of groceries on the way home?
- Buy two cleaning products (or make your own). From laundry detergent, stain remover and bleach to counter sprays, window cleansers and bathroom scrubbing bubbles, our generation has a different product for every task. Only you really need is laundry detergent and maybe an all-purpose spray. Try vinegar and water for cleaning glass, counters and floors and baking soda for scrubbing the tub.