Saving money AND the planet

Isn’t it amazing how much everybody and everything is focused on sustainability these days? And that’s a good thing too – but it’s not new!

To all those people who believe that they have discovered sustainability and saving the planet (amongst other sorts of savings), then I have to say – you’re not the first!

Your grandparents and / or great grandparents have always been way ahead of you. It’s just that nobody stopped to listen to them.

You see, the older generation who has sometimes been called Gen G (generation grandparents) understands saving and sustainability much more than Gen X and Gen Y ever will. For these people who lived through or were born immediately after an economic depression, sustainability and savings are almost second nature.

Drive through any suburb after dark and I’ll bet you can pick the houses that belong to Generation G because they’re the ones that don’t have all the lights blazing in every room. They’ve always turned off lights in rooms that aren’t being used.

Ask your grandparents how often they use their electric blankets and they’ll laugh at you. For them, there’s nothing wrong with a good old ‘hottie’ (hot water bottle) and a couple of extra blankets on those cold and frosty nights.

While the young people of today look for central heating, their grandparents block off areas of their house and only heat one room at a time (the one they’re using), thus making huge savings in greenhouse emissions and the money in their wallets.

Have a peek over the back fence and you’ll possibly see a well-tended vegetable garden. These people have known the value of having home-grown food long before it became fashionable to ‘eat local’.

And speaking of food – grandmas’ and grandpas know how to cook and they do it regularly. They’re also well known for baking biscuits, cakes and other goodies which help to make them sustainable by contributing to their savings. You won’t find them buying their lunch or paying $7 for a slice of cake every day.

Suggest to your grandparents that re-using water is a good idea and you’ll find that they can tell you ways that you’ve never heard of. They’ve probably always re-cycled the washing machine water and the ‘bucket in the shower’ certainly isn’t a new idea. How else do they manage to have such wonderful gardens?

Clothes may have become cheaper and socks cheap enough to almost be disposable but Generation G has spent many hours sewing and repairing their old ones. A young person of today would have no idea what ‘darning’ entails, if they’ve even heard the word. They probably spend hundreds of dollars replacing instead of repairing.

So for those people who think that the whole savings thing is brand new – think again. These very senior citizens have always known it – but they call it “common-sense”.

As these people turn 80, 90, 100 and more – ask yourself how they managed to live that long? Is there a secret? Maybe not. And let’s face it – if they lived their lives the way some of us do – they wouldn’t be the age they are now.

Surely we understand that Generation G have a wealth of practices that can make not only ourselves but our planet sustainable for many centuries to come?

We might not always have agreed with what they’ve told us in the past and we’ve probably fobbed them off as being ‘old fuddy duddies’. But if we want to learn some valuable lessons for our future then we only have to start listening to them.


(c) Carmel McCartin –  Budget Bitch

And don’t forget – (The views expressed in this blog are the personal opinions of the author. Don’t rely on them to make financial decisions; you have to make up your own mind. If you don’t like the content – then either stop reading or send me an email)

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