Sometimes it's a habit... like washing out freezer bags that didn't have meat or grease in them and reusing them. Washing foil also. Mixing dish soap with water... any soap with water. Bar soap scraps go with water.Making my own laundry soap, using vinegar for the rinse.Using the clothes line or drying rack over the dryer. Washing in cold water short cycle if not real dirty.It's combining loads to make a full load..
There are lots of things we all do automatically... but what about the other things?
Hubby and I was talking about trash bags. We know our Amish neighbors have MAYBE 1 every couple months... ONE and that is usually broken glass or something they can't reuse or have used it to the point it can't be used AKA cool whip containers that have cracked.
I asked M how they do that... first we are in a burn barrel community. M doesn't have one, they keep anything that can burn to use in their stoves or for E to burn to heat water to make milk for calves he raises for cash crop.They don't have magazines or newspapers. They get a couple "news" things that are for Amish etc that they use for lighting fires. Envelopes are turned inside out and reused for mailing letters to family and friends. Any paper that can be used for notes is done so. She cans 90 % of her food. Flours, etc either are in paper (burned) or cloth depending on where she gets it. Plastic like cool whip are used for storage, some will use them for carrying food. They use thermos for lunch boxes and cloth bags or butcher paper for sandwiches. They have dishes for "left overs".Milk is put in glass jars.She uses disposable pans for when she bakes for neighbors but that is the only time. She uses rags not paper towels, cloth napkins not paper napkins, and rags for cleaning not paper towels or wipes.
Then she added "they respect their resources". They don't change styles of clothes,nor do the change what they wear according to season except the men go from straw hat to leather hat. Men might wear a white shirt more often when in the fields but it's not something just for the warm season. When clothes are out grown they are reused either for someone smaller or taken apart and made into something else. OR even into rugs and rags. Even the grocery store plastic bags are made into rugs. They are not tossed in trash or burned.
Then she mentioned men cleaning their tools and putting them away Her cleaning the home daily and then from top to bottom on Saturday, cleaning her tools she uses to clean and putting things away. If you take care of what you have it will last longer and that is respecting the resources. She talked about not running water down the drain when brushing teeth, showering, rinsing dishes,etc. Reusing gray water to water the gardens. Being very careful about what type of cleaners she uses (vinegar and soap is her main cleaners) They don't have a lamp (she uses kerosene her mother in law uses oil) on in every room when it's dark. The family gathers in ONE room and they use 1-2 lamps. She does her sewing and mending in front of a window that the sun is coming it.
She really tries to not have leftovers (they have a spring house that holds at 36 Degrees year around) as she feels that's an easy way to start wasting. Something I need to focus on. When she is baking she starts with breads as they take the highest heat then pies cakes and cookies, some time custard. She bakes 4-6 loaves at a time DAILY except Sunday. Saturday baking is HUGE. 18 to 24 loaves of bread, 3 cakes , 6 pies and a couple custards as she won't be baking until Monday.IT takes 4 chickens to feed her family ONE meal. She might have a little leftover to go into noodles or a dressing.
I must have looked over whelmed as she patted my shoulder and told me "yes we get tired but it has to be done. Winter is easier and more time for rest. ROUTINE is the only way to get it done but at first it has to be a constant reminder to do it. She follows the routine she was raised with and there are a few times her mother in law mentioned she did it differently to make things easier. Mother in law raised 6 , M is the 13th child on her parents.
Her oldest girl in back in school and the 6 yr old (they start school at 7 yrs old) is now having to "watch" the littles, get the eggs, help mom with laundry and the daily cleaning. I can tell you the 6 yr old is happy to be helping, no whining about having chores and not having to be told to do her chores. She even went out to bring the milk cow up so her mom could milk... regretfully the cow didn't want to go and got away from her because she wasn't tall enough to get a hold of the halter when she turned away. BUT SHE TRIED because she knew her older sister used to do that before she went back to school so she thought she could. She is now watching baby A while Mom does that and she feels good because it helps Mom and she is now responsible for making sure the pup doesn't follow the rest to school as Hubby had to go get the pup down the road because the kids couldn't get it to go home and they didn't want to turn on out the other road, pup definitely would have gotten killed on that road.
Looking at my home, there is WAY TOO MUCH. Hard to clean, hard to know where something is or if I need to buy it, or worse , know I have it and can't find it and have to buy it wasting money and time to go get it. Too much paper comes in so I am canceling magazines I don't read or can get on line. There is NO routine in our lives except Sunday being the day of rest.
Something for me to focus on... routines and getting rid of the extra.
WHICH now is a good time with the contractor coming in to paint the four rooms the 23rd and Son 2 is going to paint his hall after that so I chose to get the same paint he is getting for a room we will paint( not contractors) so if I have extra he can have it.
Thoughts of changes ... respecting our resources
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