The first environmentalists were poor country people. I come from a long line of environmentalists.
We were reducin’, reusin’ and recyclin’ before Whole Foods put that as a slogan on a twenty-dollar hemp eco-tote.
|Waste not, want not.|
Back when the ice man cameth, my great-grandparents had a pig slaughtered each year after the weather turned cold. They used up everything but the squeal.
Don’t think about the logistics of that one too long. My childhood lesson on chitterlings haunts me still.
My great-granny acted it out in a stomach-churning pantomime. “And then you swang it around!”
Now there are lots of blogs and magazine articles that give tips so basic my granny would snort the snort reserved for the truly absurd, like throwing away a perfectly good snout.
“Empty glass jars make great storage containers!” What else would you do with them, throw them away? They hold your dry food, can be re-used for canning and make great storage containers for the garage. Also, they make the best drinking glasses for sweet tea.
Despite my raising, I have tried and failed at so much of the 21st-century “crunchy” fads, especially when it comes to hygiene and household chemicals.
I tried cloth diapering twenty years ago, but we didn’t have our own washer and dryer so the bleach never got rinsed out sufficiently.
Pampers were just cheaper and easier than multiple wash loads at the Washateria for the diapers and the expensive ointment for the rash poorly-rinsed cloth diapers caused.
I tried making my own laundry powder, but no matter what rinses or soap formulations I tried, my whites were dingy and rough. No thanks. I’m no laundry martyr. I’ve given up fabric softener, but you’ll take my Tide from my cold, dead hands.
And all the reusable Lady Products were a complete nightmare for me. That’s all I care to discuss that one, period.
Did you know there’s a big thing right now for not using shampoo? It’s unfortunately called the “No ‘Poo” movement. Tee hee.
I have seen not using shampoo work brilliantly for some of my friends, but no amount of apple cider vinegar and baking soda rinses could keep me from being as oily as a duck’s wing.
Eventually I had to leave the house and I didn’t want my hair to smell like Wet Dog.
I seem to do a better job being eco-friendly in the kitchen. I clean with steam and buy less packaged food. I think my kids do miss the Hamburger Helper a little. For them The Gloved One was not Michael Jackson.
Also, what has worked for me is cooking more from scratch and baking some of our bread. We are snacking more on plain fruit. Also, I made my own jam last year and it turned out great.
I’m looking into a CSA for the upcoming growing season and I’d love to preserve some of that local bounty.
Last season we frequented the farmers’ market, purchasing local vegetables, fresh herbs, local honey and amazing fresh eggs.
I do miss the kitchen garden we had when I was a kid. I lugged plenty of water from the creek to make those tomatoes happen.
I could have done with less of the zucchini back then. Zucchinis are the Tribbles of the garden. Past a certain point in the summer you can’t even give zucchini away.
It seems like I can be “Kitchen Green”, so I’ll run with that, still seeking to reduce, reuse and recycle in the ways that work for me.
What works for you? I’d love to hear your best hints. As long as I can still use Pantene.
P.S., Check back tomorrow. A friend sent me some beautiful handmade earrings I’m going to give away to readers!
Rachel Pridgen says
I have no tips. I *do* have a funny story about chitterlings! My parents (from Southern California) had come out to visit us in Missouri. We went to a little hole-in-the-wall BBQ place for supper. My mom asked the owner/cook/waiter/host/janitor what chitterlings were. His response, "Oh, darlin' if you don't know, you don't want none…"
Oh my! Hang on, let me wipe my tears of laughter….ok, I'm back. I could have written this post! I have tried lots of frugal trends that are surfing the frugal blog waves and have had experiences similar to yours. They'll be prying the Tide from my cold, dead hands too! BTW, I could just hear you saying "chittlin's". LOL!!!
"zucchini are the Tribbles of the garden." Another memorable Nota quote. 🙂
@Rachel, I think every region has a food like that. The south just has more. At least we fry it in butter first.
@Crystal, chitterlings are victuals that are fun to say.
@Robin, you garden, right? It's a plain truth!
Cracked me up. I'm way crunchier than I ever thought I'd be in my life. many things are now second nature and I don't even think about them.
@Zoorho, and the funny thing is, they are probably things our grandparents did because it's all you could do.
Oh Nota, you've exposed me.
You could fill a landfill with all my failed attempts at being "green". And let's not even begin to talk about the green I've wasted being green. I have $500 worth of special sterilized, organic soil I had carted here three years ago for my container garden which I've never planted. Oy.
My favorite "green" ideas are the ones on HGTV where they rip out everything in the house, throw it in a big dumpster, cart it off to the landfill, and replace it all with new "green" stuff. Wouldn't it be more environmental to just leave it?
I'm not the best at living green and I would never use cloth diapers. That is just too much work for me. But I do recycle everything I can. I hope that counts for something. And I would never give up my shampoo, I'll recycle the bottle.
Susan in the Boonies says
What a hilarious post!
I'm not particularly green, I don't think. Although I do drink from Mason Jars, because I like them.
I try to plan meals to use up what's close to rotting in the fridge.
I think that's all I got.
Melinda S. says
We have a recycling "trash can" under the sink next to the regular trash, plus a second one downstairs by the computer. (I bought both of these, new.)
I don't throw many things out–dh calls it being a pack rat, but you never know when you might want something.
I buy "environmental" cleaning products, shampoo, and such, but that's because the scents drive dd and I crazy, so I can't take credit for that.
Not too crunchy, either, I guess.
Nope. I've got nothing, except three of those reusable "green" grocery bags you can buy at your local supermarket. We've never actually used them for grocery shopping. They hang in our coat closet, and at some point became the storage containers for mis-matched mittens, stocking caps, and winter scarves.
Melinda, hoarding/thrifty. Po-tay-to/po-tah-to.
Kat, I knew I liked you!
Hmmmmmmmmm……. Well…………..cough cough
Kelly, so no tips then? LOL!
The ugly truth is that my mom was so busy reusing everything that my idea of reducing is lugging my extras to the Goodwill and recycling consists of filling the recycle bin until it is full, THEN start throwing stuff in the trash. I guess I'm mostly green with envy for those of you with a greater eco-conscience than I.
I love my homemade laundry detergent. That's about as green as I get right now.
I had a bread machine at one point, and it just took up room in my cabinet. I love to smell homemade bread, but banana bread is as close as I get these days.
I love the *idea* of cloth diapers, and they are SO CUTE, but the reality would probably be too much work for me. I'm not all that fond of doing laundry.
I can't breastfeed, so bottle-feeding is the only way my babies will survive. And I'm about to have my third.
We recycle, but only because the city gave us this huge recycling bin, and before they gave it to us, our trash bin was regularly overflowing. Now it only overflows… occasionally.
I do reuse shopping bags, but that is because I'd have to buy them every time I went to Aldi, so that is my motivation for remembering to take them.
I do make my cleaning products, but only because I love the scent of lavender and lemon and orange essential oils. I am a very smell-oriented person, and the "cleaning" smells were a bit too strong for me.
And I had to click on the link for chitterlings, because I had no idea what they were. My great-grandma would have been ashamed!
So, you're telling me they make reusable Lady Products? Please, no. This can't be true.
The Hayes Zoo says
I loved the picture of the toilet overflowing with…..flowers. At one hotel we stayed at in Mexico (yes, you could call it a hotel using some imagination) the decor outside our room's door was…..yep. A toilet. With some geraniums planted in it. Cute.
As for being green. I do what I can but then I also go and get my hair and toes done at a salon every couple of months.