While the current “Green” movement often looks more like a marketing strategy than an environmental philosophy, here is a refreshing antidote: Living Green Below Your Means, a blog hosted by New American Dream. The articles on this site portray frugality as a virtue that represents a simpler and potentially more meaningful approach to life. Topics range from Victory Gardens to conserving water during Ramadan to conscious purchasing. From a recent post, “History and Hope: When green was called frugal”:
My interest in the era of Hoovervilles and bread lines was not sparked so much by the desire to join in this fray of economic doomsday-ism, but rather by memories of my grandparents. It came to me one day that it would be great to start blogging about Lost Arts: you know, the things that our grandparents did but that somehow didn’t make it to our generation. As I wrote in a previous post: to me, much of the green movement is not like a hydroponic vegetable (engineered under high-tech conditions); it’s like an heirloom tomato. It’s getting back in touch with our roots – and traditions that are either ours or that we can make our own.
Not surprisingly, this “new” frugality is very similar to the “old” frugality some of us may recognize as that practiced by family members who lived through times of collective sacrifice (remember that?) in the U.S. or a different level of “development” in other countries. The staggering level of consumerism (and accompanying waste) encouraged in the U.S. is not in our DNA, it can be un-learned! It’s hard to imagine a better time to re-assess what is essential or superfluous in our lives and make a few changes. Could even be fun.