Monday, October 24, 2016

Making Do With What You Already Have

The ultimate in green living is to use up what you already have rather than buying new "stuff" all the time. Often, just by taking a closer look at what you already own, you can find ways to recycle it, or reuse it in some ingenious new fashion. 

Stop treating everything you use or own as disposable. We are the first humans on the planet to ever do this. For hundreds of generations before us people reused or recycled everything that they had until there was no further wear in it, or use for it. 

We are becoming painfully aware of how this throw it away attitude, and then packing our landfills with perfectly good items, things that can and should be recycled, has led us to the brink of ecological disaster. Not to mention how incredibly insensitive this throw-away attitude is to the remaining people on the planet who are not so blessed with material goods as we have been.

Seek out old-time ways, ideas, recipes, crafts, and recycling ideas and learn how to make do by following in the footsteps of the people who went through hard times before us. 
The people who lived through the great depression and World War 11 have a lot to teach us about making do. 

Back then, times were hard, goods and foods were rationed, and money and jobs were scarce or nonexistent for many. They left records, journals, cookbooks, and diaries about how they did it. This information can be found on the internet, in books and magazines, and in the minds and memories of the old-timers who lived through it, and who are still around. Pick their brains, read their cookbooks and journals, etc. Learn all you can from the past.

Get creative. Learn to look at everything you own without preconceived notions of its use, value, or possibilities for reusing or recycling.
When you need something, instead of going to the store and buying it, see if you might already have something that could be used or adapted for the thing you need.

Do things for yourself instead of paying someone else to do them for you. Cut your own grass, change the oil in your car, cut your kids hair, or your own. These things aren't rocket science. You can do far more for yourself than you currently do.

Learn to grow your own food, can and otherwise preserve the food you grow, and then learn to cook most, if not all, of the foods you eat from scratch. 
In the past, people made do with the ingredients they could grow, raise, or hunt or fish for. Neighbors worked together, and shared the food they had with each other. 

Cook from scratch, at home, with foods you keep in your pantry. Omit expensive ingredients, pick berries and share garden tools, canning supplies, etc. with family members, friends and neighbors. 

Stock your kitchen pantry with home grown and home canned food, as much as possible. Stock it with what food you can afford, enough to last for several months, just like our ancestors did. Many a family has been saved from hunger by a huge pantry. 

Simple but filling foods are healthier and usually cheaper, so avoid all the prepared and fast foods that take so much of your hard-earned money and give so little nourishment in return. 
It really isn't that hard, or time consuming, to prepare meals from scratch and it's a vital aspect in the making do lifestyle that can really pay off in savings and in health.

Try new things. Learn simple skills to make it do, like sewing by hand or machine and, again, cooking from scratch.

Don't throw perfectly good things in the trash. Pass them on or donate to charity, if you just can't find any use for them yourself.Stop wasting food. Use it all up. Throwing food away is just like throwing money away.

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