Eco, green, reduce, reuse, recycle. My yiayia’s and many from their generation had no idea what these words meant but they lived their very old fashioned lives by these very modern buzz words. They reused and reincarnated everything and anything they could.
Their possessions lasted them a lifetime. I should know, I still have many of them. Old tables were painted and then resurrected years later with another coat. Multiple coffee cans lined the cement path in Yiayia Kaliope’s garden filled with basil.
They didn’t throw packaging away. They found new uses.
They never bought zip lock bags. For what? They reused every plastic bag or container that packaged their weekly groceries. Bread loaf bags were used for freezer storage.
Their vegetable gardens were the stuff of the organic gardeners dreams. Among my fondest childhood memories are eating the gigantic red tomatoes directly off of the vine in Yiayia Kaliope’s backyard garden in Lancaster, PA. and running around the fig trees trying to jump for the low hanging fruit. I would stop with Yiayia and Papou to pick horta from farms along Rt 30 on the way to Lancaster for the weekend. (This is how my mom got rid of us when she needed her downtime.)
They did these things because it made sense. It saved money and it would have been wasteful to do otherwise.
His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is a champion for the green movement, after all, we should protect and preserve the planet and it’s creatures for our next generation. I think Yiayia K. would have been most pleased with our Ecu. Patriarchate’s advocacy of environmental issues. His All Holiness has actually nicknamed himself “Green Patriarch”. See for yourself why it is important from an Orthodox Christian viewpoint to protect our environment; http://patriarchate.org/patriarch/the-green-patriach
And so, one more thing I have inherited from “The Yiayias”. Here are some things I do; I love to reuse glass jars for drinking, food storage and art projects. They are the original microwavable, dishwasher and refrigerator safe storage! I confess, I have been known to buy products because I like the packaging. I love to buy a product when I know I will want to use the packaging again and again. I always save the glass candle jars from Bath and Bodyworks. They make great centerpieces lined up on the dining room table.
I am also a huge believer in painting furniture. There is no such thing as an old ugly piece of furniture that can’t be transformed with a coat of paint. This is a good time to introduce you to my Pinterest page. Check out the board called “Just Paint It”. http://pinterest.com/fridayrocks/
You’ll find an archive of ideas and inspiration for painting a myriad of household items. Also, look at the board called “Friday’s Trash Day”. There are a few good ideas here too.
Whatever you do, don’t just throw it out! Whatever it is! Think outside that recyclable cardboard box!