Going green is currently being marketed as a new idea. But is it?
Homesteaders also used their limited supplies in a variety of ways. It is sometimes referred to as “making do” An interactive exhibit at the Heritage Center demonstrates some of the uses they made of available goods. For example, small scraps of material left over after clothes were made became quilts, when beef were slaughtered the fat was used to make candles and soap, and native plants were used as medicines.
The American Frugal Housewife, by Lydia M. Child, begins with “The true economy of housekeeping is simply the art of gathering up all the fragments, so that nothing be lost. I mean fragments of time, as well as materials. Nothing should be thrown away so long as it is possible to make any use of it, however trifling that use may be; and whatever be the size of a family, every member should be employed either in earning or saving money.” It contains numerous ideas to save money and supplies and can be purchased in the bookstore at Homestead National Monument of America.
American Indians and homesteaders made the most of what they had. It sure sounds like they were going green long before it was trendy.