Monday, May 20, 2013

Ma Ingalls: Green Was Her Way of Life

Addie and I have finished reading Little House In the Big Woods. As a little girl reading the book, I was smitten with the life Laura lived. As a woman, wife, and mother, I am now in awe of Caroline Ingalls. She was one woman who truly could "do it all." We will be taking a look at everything she was able to accomplish over the next week or two, but today we will be looking at her way of life.

In our culture, there is a movement where many are trying so hard to be green. When looking up the definition to the phrase going green the term environmentalism comes up and the definitions are 

1. Advocacy for or work toward protecting the natural environment from destruction or pollution.
2. The theory that environment rather than heredity is the primary influence on intellectual growth and cultural development.

I found it fascinating that this was not something that the Ingalls family had to work towards. It was just their way of living. From compost piles, to reusing paper, to remaking dresses for the next girl in line, to using the straw from a harvest to make hats for the family, everything this family (and particularly Charles and Caroline) did protected the environment from pollution and destruction. 

This family ate seasonally and preserved the surplus to ensure that there would be food in the winter. Even things as simple as a bee hive and snow were used to the in ways that amazed me. 

I looked at my own situation and saw how much waste there is. I am not "green" by any stretch of the imagination (not that I am proud of that), but it made me think a little more about what steps I could take to think a little more "green."

Think green and being green takes time. It is so much easier for us to toss something in the garbage, buy something prepackaged, buy something new, all options this family did not have. They had to be  conscientious about every aspect of their lives. And each aspect of their lives was intertwined with each other. 

I honestly do not know how "green" I will be. But I think I can definitely make an effort to be conscientious.


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