How Ungreen Of Us

Sun dried clothes smell the best

I’m reaching retirement age. I’m also reaching the point of being tired of being told how green we are today and how ungreen we were in the past. Oh? When I was a kid:

One milk truck delivered to many

We didn’t all drive en mass to the store to buy milk. Milk was delivered, by one man in a milk truck. And milk came in reusable, recyclable bottles that you could also use for other things. Baked goods were  delivered the same way. And vacuum cleaners! How ungreen of us.

Diapers had pins, not tabs

Our neighbor, who raised seven kids, washed cloth diapers because there weren’t disposables then. I wonder why no one champions recycling disposable diapers? We just toss them in land fills, vertical septic systems. And those cloth diapers were dried on a clothes line, an artifact found only in museums and my backyard. We did not use a 220 volt soon-to-wear out machine to dry clothes or start house fires. And kids got hand-me-down clothes, not the latest designed-for-them fashion seasonally. I got new clothes once a year, ordered out of a catalog for school. Rummage sales were community recycling. How ungreen of us.

Three channels in good weather

We didn’t get a TV until I was nine, a small black and white set we put on the window sill. It got three channels if the weather was good and you held the antenna just right. A PSB channel would not be added for a decade. Programming was wholesome and no censoring was needed for kids or grandma. We actually watched it as a family.  One TV, not one in every room. It did not have a digital color screen twice the size of the window. How ungreen of us.

Food came from jars not cans

In the kitchen stuff was mixed, blended, chopped and beaten into submission by hand. No blenders, no food processors, no mixers. How many folks are willing to blend their environmentally healthy nutritious smoothies by hand? What’s the collective carbon footprint of all those blender macerating food from halfway around the world? We prepared our food by hand rather than buying it prepared. We never bought vegetables in a package, or hardly anything else. We put up food in reusable glass containers. It was called canning, a verb I don’t hear too often these days. And we packaged fragile items for mailing with old newspaper not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. We didn’t own plastic or paper cups or “sporks.” Anything beyond use that could burn was put in the kitchen stove, broken chairs to chicken bones. It cooked our food and warmed the house. How ungreen of us.

Nothing was thrown away

The only stuff we threw away was stuff that would grow fungus and  smell. And before that happened it was put outside for the animals. Dead motors were kept for parts, old appliances were cannibalized for cords and wire. All manner of things were taken apart and the nuts and bolts saved. We actually took down a three-car garage and used the boards and timber to build our barn. We pulled nails out of boards, pounded them straight, and reused them at a time when nails were a couple of dollars for a 50 pound keg. My mother made rugs out of rags and had a huge button box filled with buttons off every piece of clothing destined to be a rug. How ungreen of us.

You kept a razor for decades

Pens and cigarette lighters were refilled. We put new blades in razors, put tape on the old blades and used them around the house. The whole razor was not thrown away just because the blade was too dull to shave with. I still own and use two straight razors. Typewriter ribbons were re-inked, and typewriter technology barely changed every half century rather than computer seasonally.  How ungreen of us.

Push Lawn Mower

We walked up stairs because stores did not have elevators or escalators. We mowed the lawn by hand with a push mower. We bought local because it was what we had. Every home had a summer garden and us kids collected return bottles for pocket change. We rolled pennies by hand. Now a machine charges you 8% to do that. I walked or rode my bike several miles to school even the in winter, and shoveled the driveway by hand. We played board game with real humans during those long winters rather than buying a new game when we got bored. How ungreen of us.

Get lost, it makes life interesting

And we didn’t get a phone until I was 20 and in the Army. Overseas I got to call home once a year. Once. We wrote letters, now a dead art. Not every one had a cell phone or a personal computer in every pocket. How ungreen of us.

And we didn’t need two or more  devices bouncing and triangulating signals over thousands of miles to find the nearest pizza place. We used our nose. How ungreen of us.

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{ 66 comments… add one }
  • Green Deane October 27, 2011, 11:22 am

    Judith Rice October 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm [edit]

    While you and I might know of these things, along with a few others of “retirement” age, there are millions of kids out there that have nothing to compare their digitized and superficial word with and I fear we are a dying breed. Doing the things you grew up with left time for human beings to interact while foraging, growing, making and consuming. And in pulling nails from boards it gave time to stop and have a glass of cold homemade lemonade and small talk.

    If it did all that, why did it change so fast? Was it the onset of that black box that has become a wall screen? Television came in, and was the first time ever that we know of where companies could sell to so many people watching the same thing at the same time. I tossed my television many years ago, but am considered the odd duck because I cannot carry on a conversation about some made up character in a made up show.

    Thanks for your site.. it gives me hope that there are others out there who still have some real life in them! Lets hope that we can pass on some of our bits of knowledge about the real world instead of tweeting and texting information about what clothes some movie star wore last night!

    Reply
    • Green Deane October 27, 2011, 11:24 am

      Green Deane October 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm [edit]

      Thanks… I stopped regular viewing of TV and movies in the 70s. When I was in the military there were no TVs on base and then I went to college and was busy passing. By the mid-70s there was little on TV that interested me, and I really didn’t like audience behavior at the movies so I basically stopped those two activities. I think I’ve been in a movie theater five times since the 70s, and the last TV I owned I won in 1983 at a Greek Festival in Melbourne Fl. Never used it. Eventually gave it away for parts. I’m not a Luddite, but sometimes I think the Amish have got it right.

      Reply
      • Paul November 2, 2013, 6:51 am

        The Amish do have it right. They are one of the very few people- groups who will not be immediately effected by the eventual destruction of this crazy modern way of life.

        Reply
        • Donna Lenard Putney January 1, 2015, 3:59 am

          I agree that the Amish will be thriving when/if the economy fails or the grid fails. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to learn to do things the old ways just in case there comes a time when we might have to know how to function without the grid for a day or a week.

          Reply
  • Green Deane October 27, 2011, 11:25 am

    Jason M October 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm [edit]

    Love your website Dean. I have watched your YouTube videos for some time now. I will be using your website from now on. Great improvement over the old one BTW.

    Reply
  • Green Deane October 27, 2011, 11:25 am

    Green Deane October 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm [edit]

    Thanks Jason… yeah, it was time to upgrade, and we have a lot of changes and additions planned as well as more plant articles so keep coming back.

    Reply
  • Green Deane October 27, 2011, 11:25 am

    Thierry October 15, 2011 at 8:05 am [edit]

    Love the article! Although I might be considered young at 43 I do wish for the simple life. And even though the world might spin around me quickly, I choose to slow my little part of it down to enjoy the little things. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge.

    Reply
  • Green Deane October 27, 2011, 11:26 am

    thanks October 24, 2011 at 11:45 pm [edit]

    Thank you, Deane for the lovely article. I’m 38, so hardly close to retirement… if ever…

    The knowledge you have imparted gives me confidence I can “survive”, because nature will give me what I need. I pass this knowledge on to my children, along with other “forgotten” skills I know they will appreciate one day.

    I will never forget the first time I carefully peeled the flower bud of a thorny thistle growing near my apartment. Harvested the stalk, too. I verified with a local botanist I knew that the plant was, indeed, what I thought it was. Tried a bite… wow! Thistle flower buds are one of my favorite snacks now… I wash them down with berries from a huge Mulberry tree nearby.

    🙂
    Thank you for your hard work. I have learned so much from you.

    Reply
  • Green Deane October 27, 2011, 11:26 am

    Billy McCann October 25, 2011 at 10:38 am [edit]

    Hey Deane, really enjoyed this article, brought back many fond memories, cutting grass with a push mower, Dad teaching me to shave with a double edge Gillette , one’s that our children today call “ancient”. I also remember the whole family gathered around our only black and white TV in the evening. When I was married in the 80′s, we had 5 TV’s in the house, I hardly ever saw my family.
    I am so glad I found your site,looking forward to many future foraging trips on my return to SWF next month. Peace

    Reply
  • Green Deane October 27, 2011, 11:26 am

    Dan Culbertson October 27, 2011 at 10:28 am [edit]

    At 61 I know exactly what you mean. Somehow we felt all those things were burdens that needed to be eliminated by more convenient options (all less green). It seems so obvious I’ve started using the phrase “convenience kills.” The only thing I question is the disposable diapers issue. There was a big debate in the conservation world years ago about the pros and cons of disposable (landfill space and plastic use) vs cloth (water use to wash). I think the outcome was “It depends on local conditions.” In areas of severe water restrictions disposables come out on top conservation-wise. I’m not sure how rigorous the studies were on that so I’m not totally convinced.

    Also, to add to your list, 1n 1950 we averaged half as much meat per person as we do now. I suspect that is not because half the population in 1950 was too poor to eat any meat. Rather we are all (on average) eating way too much meat now than is good for us and the land we would like to preserve. Going back to 1950 diets would be a green initiative in a lot of ways (less food = less energy use). But most people would see that as a lowered lifestyle rather than an enhanced one. My personal opinion is we are all killing ourselves with supposed convenience.

    Reply
  • Hellen October 27, 2011, 7:00 pm

    Hi Deane, great article. One of favourite memories is watching a TV show from one of the 3 stations on a Friday with all the family and (heavens!) discussing it. Not sure I would want to eat like I did in the 50s in terms of vegetables except what came from my dad’s garden. Come winter there wasn’t much other than roots but canned stuff. As an fyi in Toronto (Canada) disposable diapers can be put in the “green bin” a composting recycle bin.

    Reply
  • lynn bowes October 30, 2011, 8:38 am

    Beautiful. My thoughts exactly. Here I sit at 60 wondering how we got so far away from using our heads and our hands and our hearts to communicate and live our lives.

    I’m new to your site but will certainly be watching for more.

    Reply
  • Joanna November 8, 2011, 3:26 pm

    I’m only 38 and I recall doing MANY of those same activities. ‘Back in the day’, it was either about stewardship or you were just too poor to afford to purchase new, so it was reuse until it was used up. Now-a-days the stewardship idea has been co-opted under the new term ‘green’ – sold as the same name, but not exactly the same idea. The former agenda was for the sake of healthy environment. Period. The latter is how many books a ‘green’ author can sell, or follow a particular ideology, or be cool like the (ridiculous) famous people.

    Keep up the outstanding work!!

    Reply
  • Rachelle Lang November 12, 2011, 12:12 pm

    I thought this article was awesome. When I read this it made me appreciate my family all the more. I am 31 years old and grew up in the times where technology was making everyone lazy. Microwave ovens, pagers, remote control televisions, techno-color, Atari, emails, individual computers (Macintosh being the first) etc… were making their debut during my childhood. I was made fun of as a child because the only new clothes I received were “new to me”. They were “Hand me ups” from my baby sister who happened to be thicker than I was. My cousins were the ones with the television in their room and an Atari.

    We didn’t have cable or a remote control tv, so I elected to spend my time outdoors. My mother and grandmother loved to shop at the Thrift store, and that is where my baby sister and I would collect Board games. (I bet we know how to play every Hasbro game out there.)

    My grandmother taught us how to tend to the garden. We were the best weed pullers in the “Bay Area”. My grandmother would do all of her cooking by hand, she had us shelling peas, and breaking the green beans. I had no idea where she purchased those humongous sacks of beans, but we would spend a whole day cooking from scratch. My grandfather would place all of the canning my grandmother did, and the enormous amounts of food she prepared in the van, and off we went to feed the homeless.

    My grandmother never allowed us to remain idle, nor did she burden us with unlikable tasks. She taught us the art of needlework (cross-stitching, knitting, crochet, latch-hook rugs, and sewing). She even taught us how to wash clothes using the washer board (although we had a very functional washer and dryer.)

    I always wondered why it was that my grandparents had money, but refused to use it to make life easier. Now I see, that I wasn’t missing a thing.

    I, to this day live life simply. I have a green thumb, do not watch television, and have purposely allowed my phone to be turned off. I still receive my wonderful snail-mail from grandma and granddaddy (actually she signs his name..lol) It makes me feel loved. (I despise email)

    Thank you Green-Deane for reminding me…..

    Love, Rachelle

    Reply
  • Flora December 9, 2011, 11:32 pm

    Our milk was delivered by the milkman when I was a youngster. “Skimmed Milk” meant that we actually skimmed the layer of cream from the top if we wanted to… and grandmother made butter with it when we did that. Until the mid-1960’s, the “Watermelon Man” and his horse-drawn wagon made his way through our city streets in the summer, and brought with him lots of fresh veggies as they were seasonally available year-’round.

    I’m 62 and I still hang my laundry on a clothesline. I have two — one in the backyard in full sun and another in a shed which I use during inclement weather as well as for hanging intimately-worn clothing to dry. I even make our laundry soap… why not? It’s easy, it’s inexpensive, and it does a better job than anything I’ve every bought.

    I still buy cloth diapers even though there aren’t any baby-bottoms around here to tend to anymore. They’re used as dish towels, as a replacement for paper towels sometimes, and for covering bread as it’s rising (Yes, I still make home made bread. It’s easy and it’s always delicious). There are dozens of other uses for them, too.

    There are many things I truly miss about growing up in the 1950’s and I guess most of it has to do with the self-reliant, yet charitable, way of life lived by nearly everyone I knew then and hardly ever meet now.

    Of course, today’s lifestyle does offer a very wonderful thing — the Internet. I don’t have to wait for the library to open, and I can learn as much as I want to learn, 24-hours a day… at this site, for instance.

    Reply
  • Lisa December 26, 2011, 10:39 am

    Hi Deane-

    At 42 I was old enough to know my great-grandparents (we were a young family) and learned A LOT from great gran. My 14 year old loves learning “old fashioned wisdom”. We hang our clothes out to dry, hand wash in some cases, use an old milk glass “juicer” to make fruit juice popsicles, wild forage food, homestead garden, cook/bake from scratch, sew ripped clothes back to usage status, recycle fun junk to make clothing/jewelry/household items/gifts and do other fun stuff. My husband, who was brought up with everything new and factory made, is amazed and entertained by this-and is a new convert to this style of living. We feel pretty confident about being self sufficient and save money, too. I would say, though, while its good to know how to do many things by hand and take a break from technology (read a book, ride a bike, etc), it is good to be computer proficient. And, worthwhile to enjoy and learn some of the culture of movies and electronic media…especially the classics.

    Reply
  • Anthony December 28, 2011, 11:38 am

    IMO, it’s about moderation. We own a TV and do family movie night on Friday’s with pizza. We also own a playstaion but it’s limited. We also have a garden, fruit trees, and perenial veggies planted around the house. My 6 year old knows more about identifying wild edibles and fruit trees than most adults. We were out the other day at my wife’s work and he said daddy! Look at all those silverthorns! It was a hedge with 1000’s of little fruits that will be ripe in a month or two. I was amazed how much he has learned with me. Just thought I’d share….

    Reply
  • Macy H. December 30, 2011, 4:06 pm

    Don’t worry, our generation isn’t completely hopeless! I’d give anything to have some “old-timers” who could teach me how to really live. Technology has it’s place, but I would rather use it to become closer to reality as apposed to further away. Last night I used my father’s new Kindle Fire to look up how to change colors in a scarf I was crocheting (I learned to crochet yesterday!), and now I’m using the internet to learn about the edible and medicinal uses of weeds in my yard. I’m 18, and I care about the world I live in. I’m not “green”, I don’t even recycle. I watch TV, but I’d usually rather make a rag rug, or knit or garden, or tend to my chickens. My friends think it’s funny, or cute, or quaint, but for me, it’s just a better way of life.

    Reply
  • Keith January 20, 2012, 1:38 pm

    Two things are for sure. One is that oil will run out. And slowly the others. Over time the world will become as quiet as the chirping birds again. I hope you get to see that day, and it does not come to us in a catastrophic moment(s) of panic. But it will come and then all these matters of convenience will suddenly weed out the stupid and lazy from the indigenous and industrious, (knowledgeable and prepared). I believe it will happen over time and give people a chance to adapt, because nature has been kind to us for millenia and it will probably continue despite our abuses.

    The other thing I know is that you can count on some people to rebel against their digital, convenience based lifestyle. I recently watched a documentary on the Amish and they really hit home with me. They can adopt a modern technology but only if it doesn’t change their overall lifestyle. This means that they will hook up a modern tractor but only to a horse. They will use a phone but will only use it if they walk to the gas station first and really need to use it. Convenience is what nabs people nowadays, and that convenience will dissipate with expense, as cheap energy fluctuates to expensive energy. “Being green” will no longer be a legit thing, it will simply be the only thing because petroleum products will be too expensive.

    Perhaps people like me are few and far between. But 10 years ago while I am still interested in many of the same things, I was a person who was impacting the planet in a very extreme way. This lasted up until a year or two ago when I started looking at everything I did. I rebelled against my digital life, and my consumerist life and I believe others are as well.

    Simple things can make a huge impact, as I’m sure you know. I now make piles of leaves for compost in my garden, and I pee on them to add nitrogen/nutrients and help them break down. That is everytime I do this I don’t deplete the ground water in my well, and I don’t require the thousands of watts to pump it. I don’t eat meat (long time now) which takes exponentially more land to feed. I am working to grow all of my own food as a lifestyle and small business. Things like not driving to the store for a single item, as you mention. Composting food scraps in my house with worms. I have saved my old refrigerator, havent decided for sure how to use it yet but I’m sure such a structure is useful. And to think somebody wanted me to give it to them for free, minus the costs of having oil cart it around?

    I have learned a lot since I began. My generation which is soon taking over as the doers in the world, may still be blinded by convenience, but I think more and more we will learn to value our Time, more than our money. And with time will come thought, and a healthy respect for the energy that goes into certain basic life processes like food.

    One last point. I am always coming up with new ways to live. My girlfriend often, these days, lets my new schemes roll off my tongue unnoticed. Then soon learns I am serious, and I get the basic resistance, but this resistance is just our conditioned beliefs that things need to be a certain way. After the initial shock of what I’m saying wears off it seems acceptable, and soon it seems almost natural or perhaps i should say rational. (though maybe we should ask her!!) we are dealing with a culture where it is normal to poop in your drinking water and then send it to the aquifer. so that when we get it back it has to be treated with chlorine. and then we put flouride in for the heck of it… hmmm

    Reply
  • Belinda January 29, 2012, 1:23 pm

    Great read, made me testy eyed at times 😉 I do love my gps though

    Reply
    • Green Deane January 29, 2012, 6:39 pm

      Most of my miles are spent on two wheels but I do have an old Volvo. The odometer is broken so I use a hiking GPS to keep trace of the mileage. I don’t run out of gas too often.

      Reply
  • Nancy Sage February 14, 2012, 2:15 pm

    Oh, so agree!! No one thinks about the green issue getting ignored, which is the mountains of trash growing exponentially due to new cell phones and computers every two years. Seriously, who do they think taught them to be green? My office mates frustrate me because I’ve remember being involved in recycling since its inception, and they don’t even know to turn a plastic bottle over to see whether it’s recyclable or not. It’s “easier” just to throw it out. Thank you for writing that article. If nothing else it reminds us of the “less is more” theory when it comes to being truly green.

    Reply
  • Gordon March 21, 2012, 9:24 pm

    Bravo Dean, I always enjoy getting into a conversation with a young greeny weeny and going off on them with these same points.

    Reply
    • Green Deane March 22, 2012, 6:18 am

      Didn’t you know the young invented everything… recycling to sex…

      Reply
  • Kim Northrop April 3, 2012, 5:11 pm

    Speaking of canning Green Deane, have you tried the surinam cherry jam yet? Or are you saving it for friends? heh! Kim

    Reply
    • Green Deane April 3, 2012, 5:25 pm

      Saving it for the right piece of bread….

      Reply
  • shabs April 9, 2012, 5:47 pm

    great article,although i must say i am no where near retirement age,i clothe diaper with pins,and there is an abundance of us who do so.unfortunately many people make it illegal to hang your clothing especially in “white areas trying to keep black island “ghetto folk ‘ out. there is so uch we did AS A CHILD WHEN I WAS YOUNGER,and its illegal or deamed unfit now,thats why i love going home to the islands where the american influence hasnt completely taking over natural ways of life.

    Reply
  • criss April 18, 2012, 2:51 am

    Oh, for real. The present *sucks*, let’s be clear. Climate change accelerating rapidly, pointless wars that distract us from our slide into third-world status while we continue to buy more and throw away more and have less access to the things that really matter like healthcare and education.

    But let’s not romanticize the past. The 20th century gave us roads full of leaded-gasoline-using cars with no meaningful emissions standards until nearly the end of the century. It gave us the ability to kill every living thing on the planet. It gave us the suburb, and with it the suburban lawn. It gave us PCBs, factory farms, population explosion…I’m just throwing out the first things that come to my mind. And those are just the environmental ones–no need to get started on the racism, sexism, ableism, etc, etc. Early- to mid-20th-century America was sure a nice place to live if you were a white guy with no mental or physical disabilities.

    The destruction of the earth started in earnest way back at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, with the invention of a new world of extractive and exploitative industries all devoted to giving consumers what they want. Pretty green dress, shame about the arsenic used to dye it? So no, the past was often not environmentally friendly, sorry.

    None of which is to say we *shouldn’t* go back to home-canning, reusing consumer goods, etc. Just lets understand that we’re taking what’s good from the past, and trying to jettison the rest.

    Reply
  • Josh yingling April 30, 2012, 7:14 pm

    Hey deane, totally agree with you there, I’m only 24 and have always been fascinated with the way things used to be done, I’m not saying we didn’t havre a tv growing up but my dad wouldnt let us watch it til saturday morning.i get so sick of seeing over weight people and kids and on top of that they complain how hard their life is. I wanted to start a reality show for ungrateful kids and put them back in time where you had to walk to the well to get water you had to bust your back plowing fields, shoot your own meat, grow your dinner make and fix your own clothes!i wonder how many people would watch that? And now everyone thinks calouses on your hands and feet are a medical problem!, oh lord I could go onfor a while but like my wife says”you were born 200 years too late” I love your website and especially the tidbits about how the natives did it for generations.keep it up we need more people sharing actual useable knowledge today,i hope to impart some of my passion to my soon arriving little boy. Maybe we can keep the past alive somehow so he can share some of the fun we all had growing up in the woods

    Reply
    • Green Deane May 1, 2012, 6:45 am

      I’m not so sure it’s about being born too late. It’s more like knowing how some things are done now are not necessarily the best way to do things.

      Reply
  • David T. McKee May 15, 2012, 10:31 am

    Deane,

    Awesome article – it brings back so many memories of my youth. My Grandad and my dad and I built barns, and they built a log cabin that was a complete house on the inside – I remember pulling nails and bending them straight. My dad owned a grocery store (And still does, still works at it, and he is nearly eighty) because “people always have to eat” – that was his logic, and it put five kids through school. I remember canning, and picking berries… And playing real games with real human people! I am a computer engineer, and sometimes I think I only contributed to the problem! At any rate I have been getting back into restoring and experimenting with old tube radios and Ham equipment… Things from a bygone time. Thanks again. -David T. McKee

    Reply
  • Laura July 8, 2012, 1:42 pm

    I really liked this piece!
    By the way, I am still far from “retirement age” (I’m 36) and I haven’t gotten cable, I have no clue ab0ut any TV program with invented characters that could serve as a referent for me to interact with other people my age (that is one of the reasons why I feel so isolated,but I have not interest in “belonging” to a group which can spend 2 hours arguing about “Lost”); I spend my weekends reading, hiking in the woods, swimming at a lake (soon to be banned!) and going to one of the dozens of museums we have in NY. I haven’t use any disposable “feminine” products since 2004 (they sell all sort of organic cotton made stuff online nowadays) and what my cousin will get from me at her baby shower will be a handful of cloth dippers and instructions on how to deal with the less-than-pleasant but natural by-product of her new offspring (there are ways and ways).
    I have a big collection of mason jars where I store not just my food leftovers, but pens, buttons, paper clips, erasures, cotton balls, q-tips, and old stamps that I use for collages. I bought a bunch of white plastic lids for them in Amazon but then I discovered that in most cases, the wonderful plastic caps from commercial grated cheese (when i don’t grate it myself) are perfect for the mason jars as well.
    Back in my hometown in Argentina, before big American companies came to impose their products without offering a solution to the increasing problem of trash created by non-recyclable plastic-coated wraps and bags, we bought candy straight from the bins at the store in brown paper or even newspaper cones, we used newspaper to wrap eggs, fruit, vegetables. Egg containers were made of corrugated carton which we brought back to the store where we then would pay 20 cents less for a new dozen. Local beer brands, until very recently, would cost an entire dollar less if we brought back the empty bottle to the supermarket, but with the invasion of foreign brands, they stop taking most bottles back.
    There are some young people out there trying to do things “the old way” but the pressures of a modern life where mothers and fathers must spend most of their time working away from home to make a living and children get raised by a babysitter or a daycare program, makes living a healthier lifestyle really difficult. We are all too tired, have very little free time and not community support. Even if I want to roll my own pasta by hand, make my pizza dough from scratch, bake my own bread, make my own apple cider, I do not have the time or energy to do it at the end of a long day.
    I really like your website and have added it to “my favourites”.
    Laura.

    Reply
  • Laura July 8, 2012, 1:47 pm

    By the way, that is also why people are so overweight nowadays. Pushing a mower was hard work and great exercise! So shoveling the snow!
    Biking is gaining lots of supporters in the Big apple. I commute by bike as long as there is no snow, over the Brooklyn bridge all the way from Jersey every day.

    Reply
  • Carol August 2, 2012, 8:32 pm

    your story about your life sounded just like my own even using everything especially pulling nails out of wood and reusing it. My parents grew up in the depression of the 1920’s, so what they learned, how to save etc; was passed down to their children, heck i even used to recycle mt saran wrap, lol i would wash it when i was done with it and reuse it again. By the way,the disposable baby diapers can be recycled, i have a frugal friend that puts them in the bottom of flower pots to help retain the moisture in her plants longer, i havnt tried it yet but i think i lost my chance as our grandson is almost out of diapers. Ive lived green ( and still do) when green was the only way to live. I love to hang my clothes on the line, we live in Florida so we get lots of the cleaning sunshine, I have chickens and a garden, what i dont give my chickens from the kitchen, the garden gets, everything is used and re used somehow.

    Reply
  • Joe Gaspar August 10, 2012, 4:10 am

    I’m pretty sure I don’t agree as far as the use of technology is concerned, but there are a lot of good points to be made on responsible use of tech. One of the main problems has to do with suburbinization. The suburbs are a huge waste of societal resources. The urban environments leave something to be desired as well in many areas that weren’t designed with aesthetics and conservation in mind. Yes, we do use electric dryers to dry clothes, but this frees up time to do other things; things that are far more important than manual labor. I’m a huge advocate of combining tech with things such as gardens, or especially farms. Imagine a skyscraper hydroponic community garden! We have to invest in these things as a society.

    I agree with you on the amount of waste generated though. I have found many applications this season (my first gardening season) for some waste in the form of compost material or planter containers. Also, I’ve been trying to encourage my landlord NOT to mow the lawn as often, since half of it is an amazing moss and the other half I want to use to study and cultivate the weeds.

    I really really really have to disagree with you on the board game part. Sure, board games are awesome, and I have a ton, but video games really do bring a new reality to the minds of those who partake. Take Minecraft for instance. If you ever play any game in your life, please make it Minecraft. It’s an amazingly creative game.

    As for the phones, we are becoming an amazingly connected society. Just look at this website. People can take your weed explanations with them to the wilderness now! Ubiquitous computing is only on the rise and isn’t going to see a fall any time in the near or distant future. New power sources are being developed as well, such as more and more efficient solar cells, thus utilizing far less CO2 producing power sources.

    As for diapers? Yuck, bring on the disposables. You ever wonder why disposables became more popular? It’s because women became empowered to do more than simply clean up after a little human. They, and the men who are starting to share the role, have other things they could be spending their time on.

    Reply
    • Green Deane August 13, 2012, 9:06 am

      Thanks for writing. Board games involve humans together, in the same room, at the same time, interacting. Most computer games are done by one in isolation. While I will admit to being a sociable hermit I meet too many people who view on-line as real life and off-line as not-real life. If TV addiction was mindless than the internet is decapitation. I use as little technology as possible. Indeed, if one had a child today the challege would be to keep him or her as anonymous as possible, and autonomous as possible.

      Reply
  • Boneponio August 11, 2012, 5:11 pm

    I truly appreciate the sentiments in your post, Deane. I myself am going on 40 years old and remember some of the things you mention. As enjoyable (and no doubt as satisfying) as your rant was, I feel I need to mention some weaknesses inherent in your arguments. One: the better part of the practices you cite as “being green” back in the day, we’re less a conscious choice than a matter of just “how it was”. Two: it should be somewhat refreshing to think that a new generation of people are picking up the torch of being environmentally aware. Sure, there are those of them who would hold it up as something unique to their generation, but then again, tact is something that is often lost on young people. They will outgrow this arrogance, but their commitment to the environment will remain intact, god willing. Finally, it is good to remember that the good old days weren’t always as good as we tend to remember them–that many improvements have come about in more modern times. I don’t need to remind you that the internet (and by extension, the very existence of your blog) is something that would have seemed otherworldly back in the day and yet you have adapted well to it. How ungreen of you.

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    • Green Deane August 13, 2012, 8:53 am

      Thanks for writing… 1) that it was “the way it was” does not diminish that is was nor diminishes that it was environmentally friendly. 2) I’m not sure the next generation is or has picked up any torch for the environment. It is politically correct but I don’t a lot of young folks are truly interested in the environment (a few but not a lot.) I do see too many young people pretending to be green when what they are really doing is advancing hard-core socialism if not communism with a smile. Environmentalism is just a vehicle for them to produce political goals. It was a convenient issue at the right time. 3) As for technology… I think of it as a burden and a probelm that gets worse not better. My goal is to remove as much technology from my life as possible. It is very invasive and like a monoculture makes one very vulnerable. I don’t need a cell phone and this EatTheWeeds creation consumes most of my time. If I walk away from the computer I get my life back. More so I feel sorry for someone running for office in 2050. Someone will call them unfit to serve because when they were 8 they sent an email to a friend that show a hostile attitude towards X. Google just came out with timeline… how disgusting… I want my past to disappear not haunt me for centuries after I’m dead. And every medium that man has invented ends up in the sewer. You may laude the internet but I spend a lot of time removing profanity and junvenile comments from various posts and videos. Mistakes get proliferated on the internet and not corrected, one reason why Wikipedia is banned from my website. Not only are we being overwhelmed with information but it is wrong information, pointless information, crude and profane information, lousy attitudes and juvenile behavior hiding behind anonymity and no port folio. I don’t need that or the technology that supports it in my life. To me the less gadgets, the less connectivity, the less technology in my life the better my life is. Lastly there is a seductive perversion to technology that makes us far less human. I often hear a young person call someone a best friend… except they have never met… they don’t even know their best friend’s real name… they don’t know if the picture of their best friend is really them… yet they will exposes their entire life to this unmet, unproven, unknown best friend. And on facebook you can have thousands of “friends” you’ve never met. I can count my close friends on one hand. None of them is an illusion.

      Reply
      • Bobby Winebrinner June 7, 2013, 11:43 pm

        I’m Asatru if you even care but I ‘got into’ living greener because my beliefs changed. I believe you need a strong connection to the earth/nature to truly be healthy physically, mentally and spiritually. In order to do that you have to turn off all the gadgets people have get outside and garden, forage, fish, hunt (if your eating what you kill, not trophy hunting) or just walk through the woods. Get outside and clear your head for awhile. That’s the balance that most people are missing in their live’s. I agree with you completely that technology is a detriment to society. Watch what happens when there’s a major power outage that lasts weeks. People will literally die without A/C in the summer and starve waiting on assistance when there’s food everywhere, if you know where to look. I don’t think your average suburbanite could even catch a fish if you gave them a pole. Not without wiki to look up 🙂

        Reply
  • jess August 14, 2012, 5:27 pm

    We lived on a 28-ft sailboat for 15 years, very low-budget, and carried only 28 gallons of fresh water. Our daughter was born in Fiji during one of the coups. A day earlier my English brother-in-law showed up on his way home from a job in Australia, bearing 4 dozen outgrown cloth diapers. I used to tie the soiled ones to a rope and hang them over the side (we never used marinas, only anchorages, so the water was clear), then dry them on the rigging. At one island we had a resident fish who’d wait to clean them!
    We did lose a few to sharks when sailing up the Red Sea…
    Just discovered EatTheWeeds about a week ago – fascinating stuff!

    Reply
  • Boneponio August 21, 2012, 7:36 pm

    Deane: I agree with you that technology has isolated people with an illusion of being connected. Nobody has 300 friends. I agree with you that the less technology you adopt into your life, the more connected you are to truly living. I myself do not use Facebook, or any kind of “social” networking mechanism. I do not have television, and don’t miss it. I don’t know what happened on “Game of Thrones” or “Dancing with the Stars” and could care less. I also agree that there is an awful lot of ignorance proliferated on the internet, but there is also a lot of information for the discerning reader. I disagree with your dismissal of young folks who profess an appreciation for the environment. I don’t believe that they all are in it because it is politically the thing to do. I find most kids (when not just regurgitating something that their parents told them) could care less about politics and , when pressed, couldn’t even name the vice president or even the three branches of their own government. I don’t understand how you can revile the internet and at the same time admit that it consumes most of your time. I disagree with the argument that, while many old fashion ways were quite green, that somehow they trump a new awareness borne out of an era that offers so many not-so-green options. I still stand by my argument that if there were more options available to people back in the day, they would have been far less “green”. People are people, after all, and they tend to seek convenience. It is why things have become how they are. I don’t mean any disrespect, Deane, I love your site (even have it linked to my own), but I think that dismissing a continued acknowledgement of environmental issues, whoever the bearer, does some injustice to the importance of the issue. Kind of like being mad at some of the box stores for including local and organic foods in their offerings. It is not a perfect situation, but it is a step in the right direction.

    Reply
    • Green Deane August 27, 2012, 2:31 pm

      The internet has two features I dislike. One is that there is no quality control. I see foraging advice often that is deadlly. The other is that it it descends to the bottom with profanity, crudness, and juvenile attitudes. If the daily newspaper was 8th grade level the internet is kindergarten.

      Reply
  • Christopher September 5, 2012, 7:44 pm

    I’m only 14,yet I prefer the old times….I’ve always wanted to make things on my own and all.I’ve read survival guides for old methods of getting water or similar,and I know rather old methods to preserve things and all that.I’m proud of myself for knowing such things,but I also think the opposite considering I know pretty deadly hunting skills that require only a little bit of knowledge.The average kid I know can’t even think “lead the animal into a trap made of natural food and a custom bear trap”…they always think “rifle” or something similar when I ask them how they would survive in an animal rich environment.We need more people like you,the ones that can teach us lots of things using simple objects….

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  • Elizabeth November 13, 2012, 3:22 pm

    Green Deane,
    Thank you for your site! As I’m taking a Dendrology course (tree identification) in college this year, it’s been helpful to learn which trees are edible, and how. I especially appreciate your research and recounting of the origin of scientific names – it is hard to find information that has helped me with memorizing the scientific names for the class’s tests.
    I wish to agree with boneponio and ask you not to discount my generation’s efforts to be green. I am only nineteen, and you have also heard from two readers younger than myself. I know that the “green movement” as seen on a national scale may seem, and may be in some cases, purely political and shallow. However, as you talk with and get to know individual youngsters who are involved, it is often based on a love for the environment, a wish to be good stewards of what we have been blessed with, and a desire to live simply. I dislike that the world I live in currently is doing so much damage to our environment… we are exponentially adding to a landfill foundation set by our parent’s generation. However, it is hard to break the flow and do differently. Not just because of peer pressure, but for other reasons as well. It’s harder to avoid buying extra waste, like plastic containers, because that is primarily what is available. The few of us who have “old souls” in that we speak kindly and politely, work hard and honestly, and try to do what we can to use and not abuse our natural resources… to be good stewards…. should not be overlooked or written off. I apologize if someone from my generation has used arrogance to push you away from understanding; respect and humility are traits many were not taught and will hopefully discover as they enter society. Thank you for your efforts to provide this resource to us and share your knowledge. Please know that your young readers are sincere, and would love encouragement or simply recognition for our attempts to stand apart from our generation’s stereotype.

    Reply
  • jimbo December 9, 2012, 4:46 pm

    it depends on which part of the country your in ….im only 22 and i enjoy many of those great things…But i like tv also like top gear and walking dead but thats just about it.. not much has changed out in the sticks

    Reply
  • MQ January 9, 2013, 11:49 pm

    I’ve canned, dried, and frozen a good part of our food for years and have taught at least a couple hundred people to do the same. The ones I’m most happy about teaching are my own family. Especially my son-in-law. LOL We all think that true wealth consists of good health, a full larder and land enough to keep it full. Vinegar and soda are my main cleaners and I make my own laundry soap–with the help of Dr. Bronner (I’m not too proud to acknowledge that some things are done better by people other than myself) Part of my ‘greeness’ is philosophical and part of it is frugality–read cheap–but most of it is being able to have some control over what goes into our mouths and on our bodies. It’s true that the good old days weren’t all good and the bad new days aren’t all bad–in fact, instead of pining for a time that exists to a great extent in either our imperfect memories or our fertile imaginations, I would love to see people put the best of both together. In other words, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, but remember to use the bathwater on the garden.

    I am really glad you use technology to put this newsletter online for us to enjoy and learn from. -grin-

    Reply
  • Bob James January 24, 2013, 10:35 pm

    I’m a complete novice at this, but at least I still have the safety razor I started shaving with.

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  • Ruth February 7, 2013, 5:12 pm

    I find my iphone so handy and it has become my everything access. However, I’m only 43 and was at least raised as if I were from the same time as yourself. My vacations growing up were trips to grandma’s to do canning, usually one in early summer and then again in fall to capitalize on the variety of items in season. We harvested out of both my grandfather’s and grandmother’s gardens, (yes, they each had their own,) gleaned from orchards, went to u-pick fields and road side stands to get all our produce that we would can for the coming year. Grandma still had a wood cook stove in her kitchen along with the electric range and we used both to do all the canning.

    I think it is a pity that burning barrels have been outlawed. How can they be less environmentally friendly than “the dump”? Almost nothing went to the dump. There was the compost pile, the dog and cats ate all the food scraps. Whatever, was not useful was put into the burning barrel.

    I know they prepped everything by hand but I still love my juicer and my blend tech. I would like to get the best of all worlds and get the best nutrition I can, knowing that I at least have the knowledge I need to go back to a simpler way of life. Having the knowledge and and the experience of how to put it into practice is priceless.

    Reply
  • Linddalu March 27, 2013, 11:41 am

    A comment for Ruth, who misses burn barrels: the reason they are outlawed is that many people will burn plastics and other items that make awful smoke, very toxic combustion products, polluting the air their neighbors must breathe.

    In our family, we heat with wood and we do burn clean burnables, but never plastics, nor painted wood, etc.

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  • Mary April 8, 2013, 2:21 pm

    I’m American, born in the US, but I lived in France when I was a little kid in the 1950s. My elementary school teachers taught us to write with pens dipped in inkwells, lavender ink. The school had no indoor plumbing, just outhouses, and this was in a major city, not a rural area. Television was not an option. I was very lucky in that my grandparents on both sides sent me an endless supply of books.

    I think the simplest first major change people can make if they want to start living in more sustainable way is to give up television. Think of it as a drug to which you are addicted. Quit cold turkey. Savor silence. Read a book. Take a walk.

    Reply
  • Jackie May 14, 2013, 3:40 pm

    I love this article Dean! I am only 35 but I remember doing a lot of these things because my family is oldfashioned. I remember crying cause I had to wear boy pants and trying to fix foil on the tv, not having a home phone like the other kids my age, taking a bath in the water hose, heck drinking from the water hose, being locked outside till it got dark because “thats where kids belonged” said my Grandma not under a TV set. Now a mother myself I am glad to have grown up the way I did. You’re article is inspiring and reminds me the way I am trying to raise my kids seams mean to them right now but one day they will thank me. 🙂

    Reply
  • Bobby Winebrinner June 7, 2013, 11:07 pm

    I’m 33 but grew up in the backwoods of Tx and I remember when allot of folks didn’t have A/Cs and when we did we had water coolers that are greener. We still hang clothes out in good weather. Everyone’s converting to “city water” I’m going to keep my well-water. We grow at least 80% of our vegetables including plots of jerusalem root, blackberries, and amaranth that I spread out around the property. Poke, wild plums, and wild garlic grow wild around here also. Throw in the 30 chickens I have to fight the hoards of grasshoppers around here and I spend 100’s if not 1,000’s less than the modern “country folks” around here. My next project is a windmill for electric. I know they’re eyesores but will save me and the environment tremendously.
    Great site! Keep it up.

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  • Jessica Wessels June 12, 2013, 2:57 am

    This is an amazing read! Thanks for bringing up all the differences of our past, that I am going to strive to change in my life, to live more green. And I am going to help my son of 9 years to see this way of thinking as well. You are truely an inspiration. :::Big Hugs:::

    Reply
  • Melinda Davis June 16, 2013, 2:45 pm

    Great article!

    I am proud to say that I just re-purposed the wood from a deck we tore out. I it to build garden beds and part of the framing for my greenhouse. The deck wasn’t put together with nails, but rather wood screws. I re-purposed those too.

    I am in the process of returning to the “old ways” as well. I grew up helping my grandparents in their garden, which was almost the only food they ate. They traded veggies and herbs with neighbors for milk and eggs.

    Rather than refinancing their lives every 3-5 years and working to service that debt, everything they owned was paid for. They were busing living for a living. I miss it.

    Being in suburbia, I have found that there are others who are making similar changes. I have been able to find people to trade with for eggs and other things I can’t grow myself….yet.

    Good luck to everyone making wholesome changes. Remember Pareto’s Law, 80% of the results comes from 20% of the effort. So 1 small change can carry big results. 1 small change a season can transform a life.

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  • Buttercup July 3, 2013, 1:04 am

    I really like your site and will continue to browse and visit. I am 32 and when I was growing up, my mom used cloth diapers on me. We only had one huge box tube tv in the living room. My dad taught me how to slaughter, clean and prepare the chickens we raised. My mom taught me how to cook the chicken and then, boil the carcass for soup. She always has a huge garden and cans, cans, cans! My guy and I just bought a house and last year I had my first garden and I started canning, too. It’s so much better than storebought…salsa, pickled anything…zucchini, beans, and canned fresh tomatoes! We built 3 rain barrel systems for watering the garden. And I’ve been finding all sorts of great plants in the yard that are tasty like purslane and prickly lettuces. Today, I picked some of the purslane that grows like crazy in my garden and I brought it to work. I shared it with my coworkers and they liked it. It’s wonderful in salads. One of my coworkers (who is in his 50s) liked it so much he asked for a couple plants to put in a pot on his deck. Anyway…I may be too young to remember milk and bread delivery, but there are non- retirement age people out there who aren’t all as superficial and ungreen as some may think. I may be sending this cooment by cell phone,

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  • Buttercup July 3, 2013, 1:25 am

    Oops hit something wrong…
    But I also use it to browse your site and others for useful knowledge. All it is is just a tool like the non-gas push mower I also use. I think the most important thing we can do with this knowledge is to pass it on. Thank you! I will recommend your site to others I know who hopefully will care enough to share!

    Reply
  • nicola September 9, 2013, 9:00 am

    What a great article! 🙂

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  • Written on a computer made of almost green tomatoes.. October 18, 2013, 7:37 pm

    I could write this as calligraphy ,
    but I am a young woman with a computer… Ups! How ungreen of me!

    However, I share many of your views.
    I do not own a washing machine or a dryer. My smoothie is mixed by hand and my shampoo is homemade.
    It is a question of saving money and to live with a clear conscience.
    I do not watch TV . Instead I use the time to learn something new , old and different from what most young people learn . We need a green revolution before we can only see mountains of shopaholic waste and deserts of failed politics and religion (I call them all ideologies).
    People who need to defend or attack… These are people with an ideology. They do not listen and are therefore students who have fallen asleep in class, so be patient with them 😉
    I hope that you who read this are awake or that you can look beyond ideology.
    I am more or less convinced that agriculture must be made into permaculture (google the word or read books about it) or something that is not just pseudo green.
    I like permaculture for the simple reason that perennial plants provides a constant yield. Agriculture as it is today is devastating for nature (including ourselves).
    The plow is a stupid invention that removes microorganisms from the soil. I live in one of the most modern agricultural countries in the world.
    But, even in this part of Europe, agriculture is destroying everything.
    At a scientific testing ground near my town they have made ​​a precise mathematical calculation: 150 years from now, most of Europe will be a desert if agriculture continues with the methods used now…
    In many other parts of the world it is already happening. All deserts have been green before the days of agriculture.
    Don’t just think about that. Read about it, talk about it and…
    Do whatever you can today.

    Droplets creates oceans.
    Never underestimate that you also consists of water, life and great ideas 😉

    Thanks for many great, inspiring stories on your blog.

    Reply
  • Fracmatic January 12, 2014, 1:07 pm

    Heh, my childhood was pretty much the same and I’m only in my early twenties now. Sadly, nowadays being green, having space to save things, having time to make and reuse things, and having land to grow your own food is a luxury.

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  • Jeff January 25, 2014, 7:37 pm

    The article focuses on what we don’t have today, not necessarily on how more efficiently we use energy today. The fewer trucks and cars we had produced more pollution than we do today. Returning bottles has become so lucrative that families cannot compete with those who do it all the time, we have literally created a recycling industry where once it was rather small and scattered. Phones are cheaper now and easier to use than ever before, where once we had millions of miles of copper wiring that sent little or no information we have today optic fiber and transmissions that require significantly less energy to produce and maintain at a much higher quality. I think the piece is nostalgic for a “simpler” time. But simpler times were not always good times, we had starvation in India, medicines that were not as effective as they are today, cancer was a heavier killer. Heck, I used an outhouse during part of my life here in the US. Oh and we have to have elevators because we would be sued for not having facilities for the handicapped, something else that was not in place during they youth. I miss some of the things I did when I was young, but we are greener now than ever before, we are more efficient and opportunity is better for most than it was in my youth.

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  • Shandale August 18, 2014, 5:17 pm

    I am a 35 year old with Five children. I am inspiring to think green, Feel green and live green. I have showed my children some things I learned from this website, I took them forging for cattails, acorns and crab apples and they loved it. I wish more people would view this web site it is very informative. I have already passed this web site onto my mother and father and they love it as well. I feel we are not as green as we once were, and would love to see the world wake up from history. We need to inspire to be more self sufficient and become more green again. who ever says we are more green today than ever is wrong. Lets go back to some of the old ways. We need to educate our youth today so that there can be a world left for their children and their children’s children.

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  • Wolf October 25, 2014, 8:57 pm

    My father taught me to read and navigate by a topographic map starting when I was 7 years old. GPS? Why? GPS depends on electronics, which can fail at any one of a number of locations. A handheld unit can be dropped in water, dropped on rocks, or have its batteries die. A satellite can be out of range or out of its designed life-span. But a map? And a compass? The compass will read you true, and the topographic map is a trove of so much information, you can plan your entire day by it. A street map is equally valuable, whether on foot, bike, or in a car.

    When I was a kid, the military was already using GPS, and computers were on the cusp of becoming a household item. But yes, there are some of us who would rather use our hands to mix the bread-dough, who think a hand-crank egg-beater was a perfectly wonderful level of technology that did not need to be improved upon. There are people like me out there, who don’t own a TV but have bookshelves in every room; who spend so much time outside in the real world that we wonder how anyone could fit in a moment to watch this thing called a “reality TV.”

    Take heart, Green Deane; at age 40, I’m an outlier of my generation, a generation that was entirely too passive about the destruction our parents set in motion, that our children must now deal with. But those “children”? Like the other young people you’ve heard from above, my daughter is an activist and a fighter for the wild world. Raised by a nut (nutcase or nut-collector?) like me, she’s learned how to process acorns into food, learned to make cookies with cattail pollen flour, learned to eat burdock and parsnip that I found in the park that day.

    These kids are pretty awesome. Some of them have learned worse manners than have ever been seen on the planet, but just because they are LOUD does not mean they are the majority, or even a very large minority. The future is pretty screwed … except that these kids in their teens and early twenties, as they’re taking it into their own hands, may just turn that around.

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  • Charzie February 18, 2015, 2:55 am

    Great article and so many of the comments here give me hope that there are still people in the world who care! I’m 62 and have seen my share, have a roof over my head and am thankful for every day. I try to live a conscious life and simple lifestyle, especially in regards to diet. I’ve had weight and health issues all my life and it took a health crisis to finally set me straight. For me that meant getting back to nature 100% and eliminating all processed food and for several reasons, animal products too. Now I can grow and forage most everything I need, and shopping trips are minimal! I wish I could be off the grid entirely, but not quite. I use no TV, but I do love my computer/tablet as an information source, the same way I used the library, only so much more convenient in my location and situation! (E-mail I have to say is great too!) Your website and a few others are essential in my constant quest for reliable information! So many thanks for that, though I know it is a big compromise for you, you must also know how vital that sharing of your knowledge is to us all! If I had my way, I’d love to unburden and run away to live in a little earthen tiny home with maybe just enough solar panels (here in FL) to power the few conveniences I desire, a solar oven, and a few like minded neighbors for company, near a great foraging area…preferably not far from the ocean. (An island? LOL). Hey, I can dream, right?

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    • Tammy May 3, 2015, 5:08 pm

      Charzie,

      Your comments could have come out of my own head – verbatim! I am right there with you on every detail, except I live in CA. I have the same dream, and I believe in living our dreams.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. May your dreams come true, in abundance!

      Tammy

      Reply
  • Alice April 10, 2015, 5:25 am

    I know I’m just a millenial that was raised by technology, but I’d like to stick up for my generation. Many of us weren’t raised by grandparents who taught us to can or forage; in fact, our parents and grandparents were the ones who embraced the chemicals and machines that made their lives more convenient. So if you want to blame my generation for being wasteful, just remember that your generation raised us this way. Furthermore, my generation of environmentalists is doing the best we can with the world we’ve been given. Considering most pollution is industrial and not domestic, it’s not enough anymore to just change our lifestyles back to the way they were when you were growing up; we have to convince the industries, the government, and our neighbors as well to sacrifice profit for the sake of our future. This is a job that cannot be done without modern communication technology and yes, it IS political. There are more of us in it for the right reasons than for the wrong reasons.

    And for the record, spending a lot of time on the internet does not make someone less than human. While a few people on the internet are indeed juvenile and profane (and unfortunately, those few are louder than the many), you cannot reduce the human dignity of those of us who use the internet to inform ourselves and connect with others. We are using this information and these connections to innovate so we can improve the lives of everyone, not just ourselves — and that’s just about as human as humans can be.

    Of course, you might just ignore or delete this comment because I am just an arrogant youngster. But if you really are concerned about humanity today, ignoring people with differing opinions will only contribute to the problem.

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  • Mike July 22, 2015, 5:18 pm

    It’s very hard to disagree. There are some great points here. Although a great man once said “The good old days weren’t always good and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.” Okay, it was Billy Joel. I do grow my own fruits, herbs and veggies, make my own organic cleaner, spice mixes and teas. I may also get some chickens at some point. We really have gotten away from some really great practices. This has been a detriment to our health, the earth and also our wallets!

    Like Alice said before me, it is a bigger picture than just living a simple life. It does help to “vote” with your dollars which can have an effect on the food industries. They would go out of business or need to change if we stopped buying their processed crap.

    Just my 2 cents…great site!

    Reply

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