Sustainability simply means something that can keep on going for a long time. And, back in the old days, it really was just a matter of being a thrifty soul. Those values still apply—but what are some old ideas that are new again?
Plant a garden. This was once the kitchen garden, then it became a Victory garden, now it’s a way to get outside and get some exercise and fresh vegetables that don’t cost much.
Green-clean. This is as easy as hitting the cold water button, and drying clothes on a rack instead of in machine. You'll save money, too—about 5% of all electricity used in US homes is used on the dryer.
Don't skip tune-ups Care for your appliances and they will reward you with lower energy costs and longer operating lives. This includes your car, heating and cooling appliances and the fridge, too.
Buy to last. In these days when everything seems disposable, go back to the old fashioned way of shopping for those once in a lifetime purchases. Look to maybe even shop for gentle used. There’s nothing so satisfying as a good bargain! Rethink what’s waste. Your trash is someone’s else’s treasure. And there are plenty of ways to recy- cle and reuse, including donations to local thrift stores, reselling with places such as ThreadUp.com and GiveBackBox.com.
And consider putting in a straw bale composer with worms to eat up the kitchen waste. It’ll save you money on what you do have to pay to have hauled away. Rethink the vacation. Flying uses up resources from the environment and your pocketbook. Plus there’s the headache of the TSA! So how about heading back to the old fashioned car vacation—or take the train! Going slower lets you enjoy the scenery, and on the train you can meet some new friends.
Buy local. It’s been said a lot, but think back to the days when you did go to the local store for what you wanted. Sure, you may need trips into town—but why not make those sometimes instead of regular. After all, what you save in pennies on the price you may be spending in dollars on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. Besides, what can really beat local beef from the local store?
Keeping business local keeps your neighbors employed and puts money in the pockets of local families.
So let’s head back to some of the old values of thrift and good sense that makes for cents in your hand, too.