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A new look at Jack and Jill, Looking to the past for answers

Lately I have been thinking about how people lived in the past, and how they were naturally more environmentally conscious than we are now because so much less was available. Machines weren't being made for household use yet, chemical companies weren't bombarding us with as many products and grocery stores had maybe one item available for cleaning. Might it have been vinegar? Or baking soda (which I'm finding cleans my sinks way better than the 7th Generation spray I was using)?

Surely, you've heard this:

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.

But have you heard the second stanza?

Then up Jack got and off did trot as fast as he could caper,
to old Dame Dob who patched his knob with vinegar and brown paper.

Why? Because vinegar is antiseptic, and it's been around for quite awhile. There are articles all over the web about this and vinegar's other myriad of uses. I mentioned once before that I am on a path to discover all the lovely things vinegar can do and what it can replace in my home: cleaning products, beauty products and things I can't imagine yet, but looking online can give me direction. I just have to try some of these myself.

One thing I thought it might work with is getting rid of ants. Since the weather has turned warmer, ants have invaded our kitchen and trying to keep them off the countertops and now the floor has not been fun. I looked online and several people said that vinegar can help. I tried it but it doesn't really help. It helps clean the floor, it gets rid of the ants for awhile, but then they return - not immediately, but eventually.

I've been thinking about how my lifestyle has changed lately, hanging clothes instead of machine drying them (by the way, our gas bill was reduced by over $100 the month after I started doing this), holding onto kitchen scraps for the compost, being more conscientious about what I buy and use, and wondering how all of us could look to the past to see how people lived in order to live more in line with the environment today. I'd like to ask anyone reading this right now to think about any "green" thing you do in your life that is not much different than how your grandmother or grandfather (or further back) might have done. Or better yet, something that you remember your grandparents doing that was better for the environment than a current norm. Please send me a comment about anything you come up with.

I think our predecessors were onto something.


apples for poppy anne said...

My dad and step mom are living the ultimate simple life right now...they are organic farmers, use a team of two horses to drag out fallen trees for firewood and the cookstove, make their own cheese and icecream...the list goes on. They are an incredible wealth of knowledge and inspiration for us!
great post!

Anonymous said...

I was recently told that the unfiltered vinegar one buys at the natural foods coop is excellent for digestion, and she says it helps prevent cancer by alkalizing the body, if you take a tablespoon before each meal.
Also, you know how the termite companies spray around the outside of your house to keep ants and stuff out. Perhaps putting the vinegar outside would be more effective than inside. Just a thought. Sharon