6 Green (and Frugal!) Lessons Our Grandparents Taught Us


Our grandparents (or great-grandparents) — children of the Great Depression — could teach us a thing or two about going green on a budget.  Their carbon footprint was super small — they used less water, less fuel, created less waste and imported fewer goods than we do. They took these actions out of necessity as opposed to our modern-day desire to help the planet, but the ecological impact is just as powerful.  Here are the 6 tips we can learn from our Grandparents to be more green and frugal:

  •  Drink Tap Water:  Our grandparents used the reasoning of why pay for water in a bottle when there is perfectly good water coming from the tap?  There is a horrifying amount of waste from plastic bottles, and it is just as good to buy a filter and drink tap water!  Not only will you save money, but you will also be drinking green.
  • Air Dry Clothes:  Before the clothes dryer became a standard appliance in every American household, your grandmother simply took advantage of a sunny day, some rope or cord, and clothespins. Free, zero maintenance, and no carbon footprint.  The average home clothes dryer has a carbon footprint of about 4.4 lbs. of carbon dioxide per load of laundry- and there’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly cleaned sheets dried in the wind and sun.
  • Grow or Buy Local:  We wrote an article about 10 reasons to buy local produce here.  Because by buying or growing local, you are cutting down on the carbon footprint caused by transportation and warehouses.  Growing your own produce is also a great option, and a great experience.
  • Preserve Rain:  Rain is free.So why not collect free rainwater and slash the water bill? A rain barrel will save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months!
  • Read and Play Family Games:  This is a great one for both kids and family time.  Reading is easy, educational, and can be done by a window.  In comparison to electronic gaming systems like Wii, Nintendo or Xbox, cards and board games provided hours of entertainment with little on the environment or the wallet.


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