When our grandparents were young, what we now know as Green Living may have come naturally to
them in many ways. Out of necessity, many lived a frugal life, often making due with alternate ways to get the job done. From using natural and inexpensive cleaners and soaps to living a healthy lifestyle to avoid illness often was an everyday part of life to these generations past. Is that common sense and frugal way of life a hallmark of a “green” life?
Perhaps there’s a thing or two we can learn from them!
Baking Soda: An Effective Household Cleaner
There weren’t a lot of fancy household cleaners available to our grandparents. And the few that were on the market were expensive and often contained harsh chemicals that made them difficult to use. That’s why they used a lot of common household items as cleaners.
When it comes to cleaning your shower tiles, bathroom fixtures, stovetops, countertops, sinks, and the pots and pans, baking soda can be an effective alternative to your chemical scouring powders. All you need is baking soda a bit of water to make a paste that you will use to scrub the surfaces and items you are cleaning.
Baking soda is strong enough to work on your most charred pots and pans and will also get rid of the soap scum on your bathroom tiles, sink, and tub. If you are looking for an active product that is powerful enough to remove dirt and grime and yet remain mild for household purposes, this is a great option. It will not leave any chemical residues that can contaminate your food.
Cleaning Your Oven
Take a half cup of baking soda and add a quarter cup of water and then stir these to achieve a paste. Wear rubber gloves and then take the paste and apply it to the interior of the oven spreading it using your hands as you focus on the corners and other dirty parts.
Avoid touching the heating elements as you spread the paste. You will soon notice the baking soda turning brownish; let is it stay for around 12 hours and focus your cleaning on other parts and elements of the oven.
After the 12 hours are up, wipe out the paste from the oven using a damp cloth. Use a silicone or plastic spatula to scrape off any of the paste that may have dried during the 12-hour period and then wipe the surface of the oven.
After wiping, apply some vinegar on the surface and expect it to react with the remaining baking soda residues producing a foam. Wipe the foam with a damp cloth and then apply vinegar again. Repeat this until no foamy substance appears.
Cleaning The Windows
You can use baking soda and white vinegar paste to replace your ammonia-based cleaners for cleaning your windows, glass tables, and mirrors. Just apply the paste and rub it on the mirror or glass using old newspaper or a soft cloth until the paste dissipates to leave a sparkling surface that looks and smells fresh.
Taking Care Of The Toilet, Naturally
Try replacing your toilet bowl cleaner with plain, inexpensive baking soda. Add a bit of the baking soda and some vinegar to the toilet bowl and then stir. Leave it for around 15 minutes before you start scrubbing the bowl as you usually do. It will clean the toilet and get rid of any foul smells.
Use Bar Soap Instead Of Liquid Soap
Except for dishwashing soap that comes as a liquid, almost all soap products our grandparents used decades ago were in form of a solid bar, or dry powders or flakes for clothes washing. Bar soaps are cheaper than liquid soap and many of them back in the day were very basic – meaning that there weren’t a lot of added chemicals, scents, colors and other ingredients not needed for cleaning. So, many were naturally Green long before being Green was popular!
In fact, the Huffington Post recently reviewed Six Best Bar Soaps and found that an old standard, the simple and basic Dove Beauty Bar came out on top. And it’s amazingly cheap!
Staying Healthy, Naturally
One way that our grandparents saved money and lived Green was to live a healthy life, avoid illness and avoid taking a lot of prescription drugs to fight those illnesses. According to a recent article, half of senior citizens over 65 take at least five prescription drugs everyday. Prescription drugs can be very expensive and they pollute the environment as they’re flushed from our bodies after we’re done with them.
More physical activity, generally healthier eating and less leisure time sitting in front of a television or other modern electronic devices helped our grandparents stay out of the doctor’s office for a large part of their lives.
As many older generations came from the family farm, physical labor was a major part of life. This constant exercise ruled out obesity and related diseases. Food was often grown and raised in a much more natural way some would consider organic in nature. So, before the term ” green living” was coined, many of our grandparents lived Green, naturally. And, when our grandparents did get sick, the family doctor was arguably more accessible – and they made house calls! Nowadays, we have convenient and inexpensive urgent care facilities like ER Specialists Urgency Center that are popular resources for medical care when the family doctor is unavailable.
Maybe living a green life isn’t such a new idea after all. Many in past generations lived a lifestyle of necessity that we might consider as “green,” and sometimes returning to one’s roots can be a revealing look into the future!