Updated: Sep 1, 2022
The biggest thing in my life was the dream of being rich and having a lot of tools to be able to live sustainably.
Well....that dream came true, but in a totally different way than I thought it would. I never had lots of money, don’t have today and, I am pretty convinced, I never will!
Not having tons of money made me inventive, and taught me not to waste and to see nature, work and life in a different way.
Let me start with ‘not to waste’:
I talked with a young man who studied agriculture at the University of Saskatoon. I told him that I grow my stuff naturally and was shocked by his response: He said, that he just got taught, that farmers HAVE to spray all those chemicals because otherwise, they could not feed all the people on earth.
The very same day my wife showed me a Facebook post, where you could see big box stores throwing out food by the tons. Fresh produce, just on the verge of wilting, not bad and still usable. Canned goods are not even outdated and lots more. When the manager was asked as to why he answered: ‘Because we have to keep the prices up’. Ridiculous!!!!!!!
Wasting in nowadays is a huge theme I could talk about for days on end. Our ancestors used everything and many times they repurposed things over and over again before they really became trash! For example: When butchering an animal they used every little bit of it, from the skin (to make cloth, shoes, rags a.s.o.) to the bones (for soup, bone powder as fertilizer, needles, knifes a.s.o.). Fabrics and clothes didn’t go to the rummage sale after being worn 3 times, they were worn for several years, handed down and then became quilts or strips for weaving rugs, or, if nothing else...rags.
We all know that plastic is not compostable, but after emptying a yogurt or sour cream container they go to the dump. Why not use it at least 2-3 times over, i.e. as a planting pot for seed starting? No, it has to be a nice, new one – one like the neighbour has or even a little fancier than that – right?
Ok – I better stop here, otherwise you really have to read until tomorrow ;-)
I know that I am rich even without money because I have learned some old-fashioned skills like gardening, butchering, animal husbandry, composting, canning, and carpentry, just to name a few. These skills help me not to waste and use what I have, and invent things to find new uses as well.
Let’s talk about inventiveness!
I know you are inventive too! I can see you scratching your head and asking: “Me? No!’. Let me give an example: You go to the dollar store, Michael’s or similar stores, get supplies for $ 1.25 or so and create wonderful crafts, which look worth $100. That is fantastic and it saves money too.
In my case I am going a step further and skip the drive to the store - I go into the bush instead! Mother Nature doesn’t charge and only asks to take care of her and doesn’t litter. You will find everything for the next birthday gift for your nephew, the anniversary gift for aunty or the wedding gift for the neighbours' daughter. At the same time, you can enjoy the beauty of nature, the clean air of the tree, the awesome looking flower (not the green, blue or black dyed ones like in stores – NO...the real colours!)
When was the last time you took the time to enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset? Saw the sun making a dewdrop on a flower sparkle like a diamond?
I know I am rich (without money) by enjoying the little things which are forgotten more and more in the modern-day rush of life!
Go out and shut your phones off, forget Facebook for a couple of hours and enjoy what is really important. The beauty of nature and the temptations in it to become inventive. It does not have to be expensive!