Sometimes I long for the simple life of my childhood. There were no cell phones, video games, or computers when I was growing up. I know. Crazy boring, right? But, no matter how rudimentary you may think my childhood was, I still long for those times.
My grandmother was the biggest influence in my life. She was an amazing lady who raised 6 children by herself after my grandfather died at a very young age. She lived in the same house and had the same home furnishings for as long as I can remember. She lived a low-carbon-footprint, sustainable lifestyle before it was “cool.”
It’s easy to look at the not-so-distant past and think, “Wow! I’m glad we don’t live like that anymore!” But, if you look past what you might consider archaic, there is a lot to be said for the way people lived back in the “old days.”
To prove my point, I made a list of 6 of the habits our grandmothers had that you really should do, too.
1. Cook from scratch.
Cooking from scratch is healthier and costs much less money than eating out or buying pre-packaged food. Processed foods are slowly killing us all with their high sodium content, additives and preservatives that we can’t even pronounce, and little nutritional value. There really is no excuse for not cooking from scratch. Read this guide for some great ideas.
2. Walk instead of drive.
Walking to work or the store may take time, but it will save you money and make you healthier! Walking can lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of diabetes and stroke, and improve your mood. And that’s just a few of the benefits.
If improving your health, saving money and reducing your carbon footprint mean anything to you, then walk instead of drive as much as possible!
3. Use natural remedies.
Modern medicine is an amazing thing and it’s helped people live longer lives. But prescription and over the counter medications can have nasty side-effects and contain chemicals and additives that aren’t good for you. Of course, that doesn’t mean go off your meds or try wacky treatments for serious diseases!
When I had a cough, my grandmother went to her pantry, took out the honey and gave me a spoonful. Modern studies have shown that honey is actually more effective at treating coughs than over the counter cough syrup! Pineapple juice is supposed to be helpful as well.
4. Use appliances/electronics until they die.
There is no way that my grandmother would have bought a new refrigerator “just because.” In fact, she used a wringer washing machine like this one until the day she died. Using the things you have until they die will not only save you money, there will be fewer things winding up at the landfill.
5. Plant a garden.
I am forever grateful that my grandmother taught me to garden and preserve fruits and vegetables! I love growing my own food! There is such a sense of accomplishment as you watch the seed you planted turn into a food source for you and your family.
The food from your garden tastes better and is more nutritious. Home canning isn’t as difficult as you might think. Start with this guide or find a friend or neighbor who can teach you how. Again, it will save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. And I guarantee you will love the results!