When we think of 50’s housewives eco-friendly isn’t the first thing we think of but maybe it should be! Many of their skills and habits translate perfectly for the homemaker looking to go green.
Housewives in the 50’s wouldn’t have even known the term “go going green” but they still did many green things. While consumerism was becoming a bigger thing post-war, housewives were still quite resourceful.
Their moms lived through the Great Depress and WWII, they learned how to make-do or do-without. Much of this was handed down to the next generation. And overtime we have lost a lot of these skills and values.
I believe we can learn many valuable lessons from 50’s housewives and one of those is how to be greener. With this being Earth Month it’s the perfect time to add some of these vintage eco-friendly habits into your life. The best part is these things are also great for helping you save money.
And be sure to read to the end, I have a fun Earth Day surprise for you!
They Reused Things
Clothes were repaired until they couldn’t be anymore and then were turned into other things, at some point often becoming rags. Jars and such were turned into storage containers. You didn’t just simply throw useful items away.
The average U.S. person now consumes twice as much as they did just 50 years ago. All of that added waste is coming at a cost for our budgets and the planet.
Addition Reading: 9 Things My Grandma Never Threw Away
They Had Smaller Homes
Since the 1950’s the average size of homes has more than doubled, even as the average family size has decreased. The average size home in the 1940’s and 1950’s was 1,100 square feet, in 2002 it was 2,340 square feet.
Bigger homes mean more resources for building and to run the home. While a 1,100 square foot home may seem far to small for your family, many of us could do with much less space than we have. My husband and I bought a home built in 1963 last year and it’s 1,350 square feet. We wouldn’t mind having a bit more storage space but we are looking into adding some storage space in the attic to take care of it.
Overall having a smaller home has been great. It takes less time to clean, it takes less to heat and cool, and we actually use the space we have.
Additional Reading: Reasons to Consider a Smaller Home
They Drove less
While the 50’s did see more family buying cars and more roads being built, people did still walk more often than we do now. Second cars were very uncommon so housewives often walked their kids to school and for errands.
Now the average American family owns 2.28 vehicles. It is predicted by some that this trend will change but for now it’s still the norm.
Bottom Line: Waste Less and Buy Less
Overall, there was just less stuff consumed and less single-use items in the 1950’s. Ironically the 1950’s is when happiness also peaked. Our increased consumption hasn’t seemed to make us any happier and is doing a number on the planet.
Buying quality items, using less, and using things until they can not be used anymore would do us all a lot of good. Imagine what it could also do for your budget.
Sticking with the theme of using reusable, high quality products instead of single-use products, I have a teamed up with other bloggers to bring you some great Earth Day giveaways. You will find mine below, along with links to more great giveaways.
Earth Day Giveaway
Welcome to the Earth Day Giveaway Hop, hosted by The Pistachio Project and Green Moms Network! Each of the participating blogs will be giving away a prize to help you go green and celebrate Earth Day! Earth Day is just one day out of the year but we want to give you ways to go eco-friendly all year long. After entering my giveaway, be sure to hop around and enter all of the other giveaways listed on the link at the bottom of this post.
I’m giving away a set of my favorite reusable straws, Glass Dharma glass straws. They are durable, easy to clean, and beautiful. I’ve been using them for years and still love them.
Paper straws are cute but don’t hold up well and are still disposable and stainless steel are nice but it’s hard to be sure they are clean. With glass straws you can see that you have cleaned them and they dishwasher safe.
This contest will run thorough April 22, 2017 at 11:59 EST. No purchase necessary. US entries only. Must be 18 years or older to win. Sponsors may have provided free samples of products to the bloggers. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to Retro Housewife Goes Green and not to Facebook. Please not that Retro Housewife Goes Green, The Pistachio Project, Green Moms Network and the Earth Day Giveaway Hop bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do n to fulfill their prizes. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize in a timely manner. We will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 4-6 weeks for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you.