Old-school tips for going green

You guys know that I’ve been going green for a while now…instead of just giving up all my worldly possessions and living off the land I’ve been trying to make a few life changes (like Aidan’s party) and just live greener you know. Like the difference between refusing a drinking straw in a restaurant VS only drinking water from streams using my hands (kidding not-kidding).

I decided that I would share some of the ways I’ve (we) have been trying to live more consciously , starting with these old school methods.

Firstly I have a disclaimer… growing up, I thought being into things like recycling and earth consciousness were only  for rich people. I mean lower middle class people like us had more immediate problems so couldn’t be bothered by the polar ice-caps melting in a million years. Real talk. Most of us were just excited to finally be allowed on to the beach (#ApartheidWasReal) …I’m saying most okay…obviously not all. (#MiddleClassVeganLivesMatter)

But thinking back I realise our oumas (grandmothers) had some very eco-conscious practices going. To them it was just being frugal (money conscious) but honestly they had been going green before going green was a thing.

Here are five of my ouma’s going green practices I am incorporating into my daily life….

1. Public transport:

  • I remember my gran being picked up for work by a taxi filled with her co-workers.

– Rob and I opt to take the train as often as possible. We are lucky that our route is pretty reliable and safe so taking the train is a viable, footprint reducing, option. We save money on petrol, our car saves on wear and tear and walking from and to the train gives out desk bound behinds some much needed fresh air.

2. Reusing containers:

  •  I remember butter containers of rice (and other food lies) in our fridge growing up, because my gran would reuse anything with a lid.

– More often than not our lunches are packed in glass containers that I have opted to reuse instead of get rid of. A jar of salad, a jar of soup…and it’s practically free since it came with the jam/pickles/whatever. For Aidans school lunches I repurpose those plastic containers you get with pesto and hummus and the like. I particularly like the flat square containers as they are nice and stackable.

3. Bag lunches:

  • My gran would always make work and school lunches that could rival any shop bought meal.

– Buying lunches is so much easier and convenient than lugging food around but it is the more economical, healthy and green option. So in the evening we will whip something up (we get most of our prep done on a Sunday) and pop it into bags for the next day. This means we don’t have takeout containers (or bills) to contend with – we do still eat out though, cause yum.

4. Fancy drinks from home:

  • My grandmother would have laughed at me if I ever suggested buying a cup of coffee (legitimately laughed) she always had her flask of coffee or tea for long drives or to go to work -it was red checkered if I remember correctly.

– We have an impressive hot drinks cupboard (if I do say so myself) so I can whip up anything from a chai latte to a ginger chilli tea in the morning and take it with me on the train. It saves so much money and when we do want a fancy coffee on our travels we try to use places who are okay with you bringing your own cups. We also each have a fancy water bottle so don’t have to buy landfill filling water bottles. (We sometimes still do, but much less)

5. A new life for expired dry ingredients:

  • my gran believed in waste not want not so would try to get use out of every little thing.

– for me this often means using expired dry ingredients in crafting…whether it is expired flour or food colour in play dough, expired rice in sensory games and hand warmers or colouring expired lentils for play, I try to get a use out of things.

These are tricks are inspired by my gran…do you have any old school tricks to share?

3 thoughts on “Old-school tips for going green

  1. Melissa Javan says:

    Your gran sounds like my mom.I try to not waste food but I can’t be as effective as my mom. My mom used to keep the butter containers for when you have visitors and you give them leftover food to take home.That way you save your tupperware as well. Public transport….. hmmm I never thought of it like that.

  2. Diana Studer says:

    this middle class vegan agrees with you.

    Not having the craft option, I use the food (unless it is clearly off) then I compost it.

    That date is more Sell By than don’t use after. A lot of food is wasted when it is still safe to eat.

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