Learning from the Past

One of the most interesting ways I’ve learned to cut costs around my lifestyle is to examine the past.  I’m very often asking myself: why am I using this product?  What did people do prior to having a product like this?  You see the past can be a great tool to get ideas from.

Now some people assume that when I examine the past I’m going to try to live like that entirely, which is stupid.  I’m interested in the past to cherry pick ideas that will work well today as they used to.  For example, you don’t have to buy shaving cream in bottle, you can just use soap and a brush instead.  I’m not interested to going back to a lifestyle without a computer or a microwave.

You see times change and some ideas come back into fashion.  Case in point I was reading a local paper the other day about a gentleman that is using miniature horses to seed some grass in his fields.  It’s now cheaper do it that way that use gas driven machinery because the  huge increase in the price of oil.  This to me was very amusing.  I can see it now.  After we have used up most of the oil (or when it costs $200+/barrel) we will be right back to where we started using animals to help with farming.  Ironic isn’t it?

Perhaps we should take things a bit further and suggest a few improvements to house designs.  Like why do we have basements (especially in Regina where the clay deforms 99% of them)? Do we even need them? Why don’t we capture all the rain water that falls on our houses into a tank and use it water the garden and flush your toilets?  Why aren’t local materials used to build a house where ever possible?  In early days local materials was all there was for the most part, so why can’t we examine the designs for your area and modify them for modern life.

The past can be a treasure trove of ideas to be used over and over again.  After all a good idea sometimes is really hard to beat.

One thought on “Learning from the Past”

  1. The cheap price of oil for the last century has shaped us and our lives so much, it has affected everything. Cheap oil has allowed us to own big homes on the outskirts of town and commute long distances to work, cheap oil has allowed us to buy fresh grapes in the middle of January, cheap oil has allowed us to import goods from all over the world and has allowed a company 10,000 miles away to be competitive with a local company if their wages are just a little lower.

    If oil continues to climb, or, indeed, even stays around where it is, many things will begin to change in the way we conduct our lives; some changes drastic, some slow.

    We will begin to live closer to where we work, urban areas will increase in density and sprawling suburbia will slow or even cease its outward sprawl. We will eat more locally grown/stored produce as the imported off-season produce will be far too expensive. Local manufacturers will again have an edge on far away mass production manufacturers as the cost of transportation will level the playing field.

    The impacts of high priced oil are endless, it will affect every aspect of our lives.

    And, more the most part, most of the changes will be for the better in the long run. We’ve taken too much for granted with cheap oil.

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