Eco-friendly Living Lessons Worth Learning From Our Grandparents



Spending time with my grandparents while growing up taught me a lot of things. Back when “eco-friendly”, “green”, and “sustainable” are not environmental buzzwords, my grandparents were already doing the things that I am now trying to commit to.

Buying less
Looking back, I remember my grandparents fixing or repurposing things at home. I even recall many instances when my grandmother mended clothes. Sure online shopping was still not a thing back then. But I believe that even with all the conveniences of today’s shopping my grandparents would still take the time to repair, reuse, or recycle stuff.

Drying clothes outside
I have images of clotheslines with laundry blowing in the wind stuck in my head. I have seen it plenty of times when I visited my grandparents. There is something about homey about the sight. Fast forward to the present, air drying my clothes has become a habit that has helped me use less energy when doing my laundry.

Growing and preserving food
My grandparents have several fruit trees and some vegetable patches in their backyard. Climbing on trees to pick fruits and helping my grandmother harvest some of the vegetables in the garden are among my fondest memories with them. There was something about being in close contact with dirt and getting scrapes from tree barks that enriched my memories of those moments. It was also from my grandmother that I learned to how make fruit jams and pickled vegetables stored in old jars and containers.

Watching less TV
My grandparents had strict rules about watching TV, especially for kids living or visiting at their home. I remember complaining and getting much grief about not being able to see some of my favorite cartoon shows. TV time was strictly regulated and kids were not allowed to watch beyond a certain time at night. For this reason, we spent a lot of time doing things like playing traditional games, being asked to help around the house, learning to play a musical instrument, and more.

Eating homecooked meals and snacks
Dining out are for special occasions in my grandparents’ book. Most of the things we ate back then were homecooked meals and snacks. I have spent countless times watching my grandparents prepare meals from scratch often using ingredients they picked from the backyard. And the smell of freshly-baked cookies and cakes are always wafting in their house.