We know from the stories that our grandparents walked uphill both to and from school. And it’s true, they lived before the Age of Convenience in which we now find ourselves. But what is also true is that your Granny’s lifestyle was green before green was cool. That’s how the founders of Cascades got started, all those years ago: working hard, reusing perfectly good materials, being resourceful and inventive with what they had.
Here are four Green Granny lessons that might give us more perspective on how we can increase our own cool, now that green is the new black.
1. Granny made things from scratch, from pies and preserves to downright ugly Christmas sweaters. You may not be of a mind to start canning peaches or darning your own socks; luckily, the popularity of “buy local” campaigns has enabled small business owners to make a living doing what they love, and helping you avoid what you don’t. Visit your local farmer’s market or browse through Etsy.com to support professional artists and pie-makers who use locally-sourced and wholesome ingredients to support themselves and save you time.
2. Tough economic times during the Great Depression meant families had to make do with less and conserve what they had. Upcycling is a fabulously green trend that encourages thinking twice about how to get a second life out of an old pair of jeans or old hair brush. Instead of tossing that finicky laptop in the trash, have it fixed. Laptop repair is the new sock-darning.
3. In the days before gluttonous portion sizes, people ate less, plain and simple. In the United States, there’s even a Small Plate Movement encouraging families to reduce their consumption by reducing their dinnerware size. Your folks had to finish everything on their plates, but plate sizes were 30 per cent smaller. Try eating family meals from smaller plates and leave others for dinner parties.
4. Beauty regimens were less complicated in Granny’s younger years. Cold cream was the most versatile beauty product of the times. You can make a modern non-toxic version with beeswax, mineral oil and essential oils. Women also curled their hair with fabric strips, without the aid of chemical styling products, expensive heat tools or disposable plastic curlers. Vintage hair styles have returned to the runways and brought rag-rolling with it. Consider giving it a try instead of paying for an expensive up-do for your next formal event.
These are some of the small ways to simplify your life to have big impact on your health and lifestyle. If a grandparent has ever shared a story about beauty and wellness in her early years, please consider sharing it with us below.
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