I don't recall questioning why, rather than purchasing Kleenex, we young children were provided with "snoot rags" (old, thin cloth diapers). At the time it just kind of made sense. You'd use the snoot rag as you would an oversized handkerchief (this was back in the day when children still knew what a handkerchief was) blowing into and using up each section carefully until it could absorb no more, and then you'd toss it in the wash pile and get yourself a clean rag. Perfect sense.
Even my family's reluctance to purchase over the counter medicine, though surely motivated by an empty pocketbook, ends up cast in a green light when you consider the alternatives we tried before taking a trip to the pharmacy. When we had colds we were encouraged to gargle with salt water (hated that!), sleep with a humidifier (comforting) and to drink hot water with lemon and honey (a treat!). As I remember it, it was only after that regimen that, if still ill, we were dosed with Robitussin. I have no doubt my body's immune system is better for it.
Reconsidering my childhood through the lens of conservation and cleverness rather than of poverty, I find new inspiration. I can't do all my family's shopping at Whole Foods, but I can show my daughter how to plant and grow [at least some of] our own organic produce. And if we cannot buy a hybrid vehicle so be it; but let's maintain the cars we already have so they'll last. It's simple, the idea to reduce, recycle, reuse. But I'd kind of forgotten it, sitting in the shadow of the Buy Green message that's so prevalent nowadays. . . But I'm encouraged. If my childhood could be so green without even trying (indeed, without me even noticing!) then surely raising my daughter to be environmentally conscious won't be as difficult as I've feared.
Bell[e of the Ball] Pepper Soup
3 years ago