by Texas Homesteader ~
We all had to start the road to simplicity at the very beginning. So even if you’re a veteran eco-warrior, don’t belittle someone else’s humble beginnings. Let’s support each other in our path to living simply! Remember we’re all in different places in our lives.
Experienced Eco Warriors Not Supportive
Recently I shared a post I’d written about eco-friendly living. I was trying to encourage readers, pointing out a few simple everyday steps that might easily be made for those wishing to lower their footprint.
Most of the comments from others were helpful and positive. But there were a few snarky comments too about how some of these tips were nothing new.
But it got me to thinking – unless you’re talking about new technology, almost NONE of our environmentally-friendly living steps these days are new!
Not everyone can afford to install high-tech equipment on their home to lower their footprint. But almost anyone can take easy daily steps in their own home to move along that simple path – and it costs little or nothing!
Heck our grandmothers or great grandmothers did it for years. They didn’t call it environmentally-friendly living, it was just called ‘LIVING‘ back then!
Disposable plates back in the 40’s? No. Paper towels? Probably not. Heck even grocery stores didn’t commonly dot neighborhoods until the 1950’s or so.
Most families had huge gardens & preserved the excess to feed their families!
Back in the day, grandma cooked every meal from scratch. And she was usually using what was growing in the garden at the time as a basis for that meal.
Eating locally and seasonally was just the way it was done back then.
Is Providing For Ourselves Too Hard?
But fast forward to the current time period where lives are rushed and the current-day advertising moguls – in an effort to make more money for themselves – have convinced us that doing for ourselves is just too hard or complicated. That we DESERVE the convenience.
And let’s be honest, some folks really DO need convenience items. We’re all in different places in our lives and that new mom may be overwhelmed with washing dishes or fabric diapers.
And the point is Your Journey May Be Different than theirs, and THAT’S OK!
Not everyone has the ability or even wants to spin their own wool or milk their own cow. Whatever steps they make toward living a simpler life is what works best for them and their family.
It’s not really a matter of us against them. We’re all responsible for doing what’s best for our own families, right??
Let’s Support Each Other!
I think oftentimes people feel self righteous when they’ve been on their simple living journey for a while, forgetting they too had to start at the beginning.
Although the piece I wrote was meant to inspire those wanting to live a more Zero-Waste Life by starting with a few easy baby steps, I worry that they might instead feel defeated before they even begin by reading some of the snarky comments of others whom may have been on their simple-life journey for longer.
And the internet apparently makes folks feel comfortable saying things to people they’d certainly never say in person. Aaaaahhhh the empowerment they must feel in their anonymity…
Wouldn’t the world be a beautiful place if we’d celebrate accomplishments of others instead of thumbing our noses & saying “I do more than you!” (smh)
But here’s the important part of the message that I hope is clear: Please, when you’re reading someone’s thoughts – especially those who are just beginning to make changes – please remember that we’re all in different places in our journey.
Don’t belittle their effort to start down the path to living simply.
Sure, as a veteran environmental soldier, what’s brand new information & encouragement to someone else may be old hat to you.
But remember you had to start from ground zero at one time as well. So let’s encourage others wherever they might be in their own simple-life journey!
(turns off light & drags soapbox from center stage…)
Other Simple-Life Articles
- Living Deliberately: Voluntary Simplicity
- How Would Grandma Have Done It?
- Doing Things The Old Way
- Grandma-Approved Cleaning For A Cozy Home
- How To Live The Simple Life In An HOA
- Passive Solar Energy Tricks
- Using The Sun: Solar Cooking
- Easy Laundry Detergent Recipe
- How To Make Your Own Laundry-Scent Booster
- Easy Air Freshener In Cute Repurposed Jar
- Lavender-Scented Gardener’s Hand Scrub
- Building Your Life With Your Own Two Hands
- The Fast Life: Slowing Down, Living MORE!
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Amen to that! Don’t let ’em get ya down. Those who have been reading your posts for a while understand that we all have to start somewhere-and aren’t you wonderful for sharing your experiences to help us get there. Rock on, sister homesteader!
I couldn’t agree with you more. I find as a blogger my readers think they can’t start homesteading because they don’t fit into a specific box like everyone else. We all need encouraged every step of the way, and you are right…not all of us can afford expensive solar panels or 10 acres. But what we all can do celebrate little milestones like learning to cook from scratch or installing a clothesline. Anything we can do to pass on some of those lost skills to others is priceless.
Thanks for sharing on the Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop!
Yes, exactly Tracy! Especially us bloggers – we need to be encouraging of others stepping tentatively onto this simple living path. We also need to be mindful of what we write on others posts such as this Mother Earth News FB share. I’m assuming here that the naysayer was not a blogger, but I’d hope the bloggers would step in and counter his dimmed view for the newbies to see… ~TxH~
Tammy, I was listening to the radio on my way home and they talked about another recession that will be much worse than what we just went through. Your article was great and even if it helps just a few people prepare themselves for harder times it was well worth it. So much of what my generation learned has been lost. I’m so glad that I taught my boys to be self sufficient, they learned at a very young age how to make do with what we had. Baby steps!!
Too many people have their panties in a wad these days, oh well such is life! Patti
Good for you Patti for equipping your children with what they need to be self sufficient. You’re right, so much of what previous generations (or even our own) learned is being lost. I became enamored with the simple life by watching my grandmother when I was a very young adult – way before it was the environmental thing to do. But I know some aspects of that simplicity were pushed aside as I was raising my children and consumed with the corporate world, while other parts of the simple life were nurtured along. Now as an empty nester I’ve picked up where I’d left off and I’m strolling down the simple life path more vigorously again because I love it, but again – we’re all in different places on that path. I’m thrilled to see what I perceive as being a resurgence in interest in self sufficiency and that is so exciting to me. But we’re not all on the same place in that path of simplicity – some are just starting out and deciding for themselves what parts fit their own family. It’s not ‘us against them’, we should all support each other on that path. ~TxH~
It does get ridiculous sometimes. And I applaud your statements.
So unfortunate that some people leave snarky comments. Everyone starts their journey in life in their own unique place. Some people are raised on a farm and learn a lot during their childhood about being self-sufficient and growing their own food. Others grow up in the city where they don’t even have a sunny window to grow houseplants. Every article we write sharing knowledge that we’ve learned is helpful to somebody who is at different place along the path.
THANK YOU! Hubby and I both dearly want to shrink our carbon footprint, and become ‘real’ homesteaders – but, we’re also both disabled, and quite frankly, sometimes, we’re lucky to get to the grocery store and back, much less get the stuff put away, once we get home. We have a dream, but I am going to need a couple of surgeries, before I’ll even be able to take on the responsibility of a house, instead of living in an apartment, where someone else takes care of all the big maintenance jobs.
But, we do what we can. We only keep a few convenience foods handy, for days when neither of us is physically able to cook real food – but we cook from scratch about 80% of the time. I make my own hair & skin products, use a ‘cup’, instead of other feminine hygiene products, & we reuse everything we possibly can. In fact, I was given a stack of old tshirts – most of which, we’ll never wear, and I use them for all kinds of things – right now, one is being employed as a sling, to support my arm, that doesn’t currently want to stay in it’s shoulder socket!
Yet, I often feel as if we’re just frauds, because of how much we do often have to rely on canned foods from the store, instead of home-canned, or using paper plates, when we can barely get dinner made, much less deal with the post-meal clean up. I’m not a newbie to homesteading – I used to be quite self sufficient, but these old work injuries of mine (shoulder) & our health issues have robbed us of that. (hubby has had 5 heart attacks, and isn’t bouncing back, like we all though he would – very frustrating, for him! I have severe fibromyalgia, advanced arthritis in my knees, & we both have pulmonary issues.)
Anyway, thank you for a) your compassion & defense, and b) the reminder to me, that **I** need to maybe cut myself a little slack, sometimes, too.
Do what you can when you can and the rest of the time take it easy on yourself. At your worst times you are doing more than the majority of people. What you save a year in personal care products is great, be proud of yourself. I wish you much wellness and healing.
Carla, you hang in there girl! It will get better, faith has a way of carrying us through those hard times! Get a pair of scissors and cut that rope you’re trying to tie yourself up with. You’re doing a heck of a lot more than most people in your situation. Sending hugs of encouragement your way!! Patti
OMGoodness Carla, while your comment makes me smile in several places, it also causes my heart to break over how you sometimes consider yourself a ‘fraud’. As I mentioned earlier, not everyone has access to (or even WANTS to) spin their own wool or milk their own cow. Oh sure there are some homesteaders out there that do and while it works for them, offering them satisfaction and fulfillment, it doesn’t work for others in their own simple life path. You have found that balance where you are right now, doing what’s important to you when you can and enjoying the convenience that this life offers when you need it – and there’s nothing wrong with that! I applaud you for your simple-living mindset, it’s that thinking outside of the box moxxy that makes a REAL homesteader, and you’ve got that in spades girl! ~TxH~
Thank you! I totally agree…those kind of people are rude and have forgotten the treat others as you want to be treated.
Trying to make themselves feel good about being further down the path than those just starting out I think is a big part of it Ellen. But reading some of their comments doesn’t make me admire them for being further ahead than others, it makes me shake my head at their pettiness. So you’ve got to wonder what they’re really getting out of their comments int he first place. (SMH) I’ll encourage as many people as I can to peek tentatively down that simple-living path and take those first baby steps if possible, applauding wildly and cheering them along every step of the way! ~TxH~
It’s Simple for sure weather you are on the internet or in person. The people you meet and work with on a day to day basis deserve respect and above all love. For this is where it all starts.
Having the gift of encouragement is a powerful tool, lifting up those who sorround you weather online or in person can change lives for the better.
Working together, sharing ,caring , and above all giving your time to make this world better for others will only make your life better.
The real treasures of this earth is not the wealth you hold but the friends that sorround you. I am blessed to call you my friend even though I still don’t know you name.
Thanks for sharing your heart TMH.
You are appreciated.
Greg, when you say: “Having the gift of encouragement is a powerful tool, lifting up those who surround you weather online or in person can change lives for the better” – I couldn’t have said it better myself. Encouragement toward another is such an easy thing to do and if we’d all just take that one simple step to encourage another, wouldn’t this be a beautiful world indeed? Easy, helpful and costs nothing! Thank you for sharing your sweet comment! ~TxH~
I think people tend to forget that the Internet is still social interaction, and you shouldn’t say something that you wouldn’t say outloud to another person. While, granted, there are more than enough mean people out in the real world, it would certainly help people be more aware of the junk they are saying online!
Your post over at Mother Earth News is obviously not full of steps for the tried and true, but for those trying to get their feet in the water. Any time a post title involves “easy” in my mind, it means “for those that have never done this before” and that is normally what the post equates to!
I also agree with you in that it’s not us versus them – it’s not anybody versus anybody!
Don’t let some mean-spirited people who wrote without thinking of what they were saying get you down!
Jessica, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I agree with all you said and while I know as a blogger I’m not going to be able to please everyone it does shock me sometimes what people write – perhaps to attempt to be funny, perhaps to attempt to make themselves look better. I took the comments with a grain of salt of course but worry about those that are just starting their journey and what they might have thought when they read them. Would they be ridiculed for being so new on their own path? Are they not doing enough? Should they have started earlier? NONE of that is true, and I support all who decide to stroll down this path for doing what’s right for them and their family, not what some nameless snarky commenter says… ~TxH~
Well said, my friend.
Amen! Thank you for thinking of us who are just starting on this journey. We glean a lot of valuable information from you and others that are willing to help ….not critize or laugh at our attempts and questions.
I think you’ll find that most homesteaders or simple-living folks are very eager to uphold and encourage others, Julia. I know the readers and commenters of this blog (and our FB page) have been amazing, supportive and helpful – and that’s by far been my experience in dealing with other pages as well. ~TxH~