Youth seems to take center stage when it comes to various causes, especially the green movement. Young bands and young festivals look like a party most anybody would want to join. However, rarely do you see the senior’s contribution. Many, sixty and over, have been dealing with different aspects of past as well as future green behavior that most have rarely considered.
The Great Depression
Many people can still recall their personal struggle through the Great Depression. Those same people know what it means to save a buck which often involved reusing, recycling, composting and more. This influence is something that perpetuated forced green living which for many has carried over beyond the forced part. Seniors of today maintain their green living through a variety of ways. Some include weekly seminars about green living and ideas within private as well as state run assistance facilities; community cleanup programs; public gardens; senior center recycling and more. Many people do not realize that these seniors are generational, unsung pioneers who can still teach younger folk a thing or two about struggle and practicality.
Frugal, Not Cheap
From those who made it through the 1930’s came a few more generations that carried on their family’s instilled, green ways. Over time, advertising, cheap materials and overseas outsourcing seduced future families to provide on a different level, materialism. The concept of giving children a more abundant childhood than they had has caused many to succumb to the mass, unnecessary consumerism we have today. However, if we look once again at our own parent’s beginnings, maybe their frugal ways do not look so cheap after all and overconsumption can be curbed.
Gray Group Green
An interesting approach to both aging as well as going green is the group home community. Recently, seniors have begun forming their own in-home group by pooling their money together for room, board and outside care. It not only creates a unique support system but also cuts back on each resident’s carbon footprint. Filling a four or five bedroom home rather than living on one’s own reduces considerable energy use. If outside care is needed it too can also be used efficiently rather than care workers needing to travel to singular locations. This also applies to pooling together resources for group transportation. A van service can take a group of seniors to doctor appointments, shopping, etc. creating less fossil fuel emissions than if each were privately moved from place to place.
Creating a community or group garden is another way for seniors to not only raise their own food but to add another activity to their day. Combating a sedentary lifestyle when the body begins to slow down is always a challenge and maintaining a garden can be an excellent project. In fact, The Daily Green reports that a garden can save upwards of $2,000 per year for seniors if utilized to its full potential.
The green senior is truly a green soldier. By implementing historic frugality as well as embracing a current lifestyle change, there are many ways a senior can contribute to environmental healing.