MNN Galleries

7 green things our grandparents did

By: Heather Gunther on June 25, 2010, 12:15 p.m.
American Gothic by Grant Wood

Photo: Grant Wood/Wikimedia Commons [CC by 1.0]

1 of 9

Green wisdom

Our grandparents (or great-grandparents) — children of the Great Depression — could teach us a thing or two about going green on a budget. "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without," recalled one elderly woman when asked about what she learned as a child during the Great Depression.

Their carbon footprint was uber-small — they used less water, less fuel, created less waste and imported fewer goods than we do. They took these actions out of necessity as opposed to our modern-day desire to help the planet, but the ecological impact is just as powerful.

Here are seven lessons we can borrow from our elders that are easy on the wallet, and have significant environmental impact. Perhaps more importantly, they are easy to implement and relevant to our modern lifestyles — no extolling the virtues of riding a horse to work! (Text: Heather Gunther)