Somewhere in the depths of the internet, I remember reading about how someone compared their grandparents’ lifestyle choices to those of modern ‘green’, or eco-friendly living. Usually we at the RRBlog like to take summer as an opportunity to learn and research and experience new old things, like configuring Clicks the camera or traveling with our picnic basket… but this is too good to pass up.
So about this article… In the classic style of Harpie, I have no idea where it was and didn’t think to save it to a file. But here’s the basics: history’s economics have made goods that we take as commodities today the luxuries of yesteryear. Take for instance paper towels: these can be purchased very easily today in almost any store. Back in the 1940s, paper towels were not logical. It is too wasteful to have single-use towels in an average setting.
…So with the ideology in mind from this article, my mind wanders back to where I wander often: The Duke Estate. I envision a place where green living is taught and inspired by historical roots; a revival of sorts in its own league. Picture if you will, a place that is absolutely a nature sanctuary full of species rare and diverse of all kinds, that teaches all about renewable home resources and residential methods of growing foods and spices year round. This is a most exemplary location to teach these and other values like the pricelessness of cultural and artistic features in seamless fluidity with nature’s bounty.
Why is it important to work these parallels? Green living is one of the most powerful shifts that this society is experiencing right now. With the changing of political tides, especially in America, green living is really just a vehicle to illustrate the greater desires we have. I’ve said it dozens of times: our actions and wants reflect a deeper need for wholesome, traditional life (with some new twists). Some of us identify rather strongly with the retro culture already; that is, we actively seek out ways to live a life free of overconsumption or disposables. Others either reject these notions or want something entirely new; but this population might forget that recycling milk glasses and selling rags for cleaning were things of the past. Green may come with new inventions and technologies like wind turbines, but the notion of using things over and over again? Timeless.
The Duke Estate, which runs a similar message, ‘to be good stewards of the land’, should take notice of these parallels. They, of anyone, have the greatest potential to show how eco is antico! Grow pineapples and sell the rinds to the interesting artisans that make it into a new type of biodegradable and sustainable leather or host mid afternoon high society tea with tea leaves harvested in a greenhouse. Teach people the uniqueness of life in an era bygone. Highlight it in green. History may show up in black and white, but there were hints of green in every direction. Stay curious, darlings.