Growing up with a Dutch Mother explains a lot about my principles of simple living and reducing waste. We knew how to make the most out of everything and throw away very little.
A recent e-mail forward from my Mom helps explain a lot about what living “green” is all about. I’ve extracted out all of the “environmentally-friendly” and “frugal” Dutch traits that I can relate to.
The theme of the e-mail is “You know you’re Dutch when…”
- The temperature is so low in your house that 2 sweaters is a bare minimum if you want to be remotely warm.
- Your favourite mustard comes in jars that can be reused as drinking glasses.
- Your kitchen is filled with milk bags drying, waiting to be reused in the freezer.
- Your fridge is always stocked with leftovers. Throw out food? Never!
- You open the freezer and are excited to find a container of ice- cream, only to open it and discover it’s full of homemade soup or stamppot
- The most frequent phrase uttered growing up was “Turn off the lights!”
- You were green before it was popular. Why recycle when you can just reuse!
- You have a vegetable garden because there’s no way you’re paying that much for veggies at the grocery store.
- You put a little water into the jar of tomato sauce and shake it to make sure you got it all out.
- You have 100 roles of toilet paper in your house because they were on sale.
- Everything is Do-It-Yourself – it’s cheaper than hiring someone.
- You’ve been known to recycle aluminum foil. And ziploc bags.
- You collect coupons like they’re going out of style.
- You wash and reuse plastic cups and plastic cutlery
- When you hear all the “new ways to save energy” you yawn and say “I’ve been doing that all my life!”
I think I have some Dutch in me too in this case.
I am Dutch and yes, these are all true. We were ‘green’ before ‘green’ was invented, simply because it made such (frugal) sense!