Go Back in Time to Combat Climate Change


I’ll admit it: I almost didn’t participate in Blog Action Day.  I didn’t want to participate unless I had something valuable to add, and to be honest, I was feeling uninspired.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to climate change, even hopeless.  Lately, I’ve found it easier to think about the happy things in my life: family, friends, and our baby boy on the way. 

While I haven’t been thinking about climate change a lot lately, I haven’t dismissed my efforts to live sustainably.  Over the years of studying and teaching about climate change, I’ve developed my own philosophy on reducing carbon emissions.  After all the thought that went into changing my actions, it’s fairly easy to summarize the lifestyle changes I’ve made: Simple Living.  It all boils down to conservation, reducing waste, doing things by hand, cooking locally and from scratch, reducing exposure to chemicals, burning wood to reduce our oil consumption, turning the heat down or the air conditioner off, and living with less in general.

The more I live this lower-carbon lifestyle, the more in touch I become with my history.  My lifestyle is surprisingly similar to my great-grandmother’s.  Except, of course, that I write my thoughts and recipes in a blog and she wrote in journals.  A return to the simpler, more self-sufficient past has improved my carbon footprint.  More significantly, I feel that these changes to my life have made me happier.  Standing over a pot of bubbling jelly and listening to the plink of the jars sealing.  Kneading bread and slicing into the fresh loaf.  Sitting by a fire and knitting a scarf.  Snuggling up with my husband instead of turning up the heat.  Digging potatoes, pulling carrots, snipping greens, plucking tomatoes from the garden.  Raising pigs and turkeys for meat.  Elbow grease instead of bleach.  Planting apple trees.  Planning my future to include further steps toward self-sufficiency.  I started on this journey to reduce my carbon emissions, but I continue along the path because it is fulfilling.



Filed under Living from Scratch, Sustainable Living

6 responses to “Go Back in Time to Combat Climate Change

  1. I started on a similar journey because I thought it would be healthy and fulfilling; I am happy that it reduces my footprint as well. Good on ya!

  2. I actually wrote about similar things today. Simplifying is satisfying, and financially responsible, and reduces your carbon footprint. I’m not sure I can say I live the same sort of lifestyle that my great grandmother did, but there are definitely aspects that I’m trying to replicate.

    • Sometimes I wish I could just go back in time and not have to read labels for chemicals, because they simply didn’t exist yet…

      But I love the modern day conveniences like running water, transportation and of course the internet. We have to pick and choose what works for us.

  3. Great post – someone commented on a guest post of mine the other day that people only changed when they had too, and I don’t believe that is true. You and I and many other people living simply, live this way because we think we are making a difference and it feels right. Our grandmothers didn’ t have to consider carbon footprints, because theirs were much smaller. Being a good role model, is a sincere form of activism. Again – very enjoyable post.

  4. Hear hear!! I feel exactly the same way. I do all these things because I enjoy them but the original trigger was climate change.

  5. Your great-grandparents would be so proud of you!!!

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