Eco-Living Magazine

Going Green: Eco-friendly Tips From the Medieval Times

Posted on the 28 February 2013 by T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon

While the Dark Ages undoubtedly had its pitfalls and tales of repugnant hygiene, they had a much closer understanding of the earth around them than many of us modern folk. Can you go out into the local forest and pluck yourself an herb that cures your sick tummy? No? Didn’t think so. Most of us would promptly jump into our gas-burning car and high-tail it to the local Walgreens in search of a chemical-filled cocktail made in a giant pharma-factory.

Earth blue planet in space


Sure, the Middle Ages had its pitfalls and sewage problems, but they also got a lot right in terms of respectfully treating the planet. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) provides data that humans will need resources from two more earths to sustain our lifestyles by 2050. Perhaps it’s time we look to our past for sustainability solutions that can save our planet’s future.

Purposeful Re-purposing

Medieval blacksmiths and shop workers had a knack for re-purposing almost all of their wares, which left very little impact on environmental surroundings. The Belgians, Celts and Gauls generally found what they needed for metal working in the local rivers. For example, when a blacksmith crafts a helmet, they could re-purpose it into nails, wall anchors, etc. In today’s world, re-purposing any type of item has a green impact. Environmentalist Stephen Dent calls to attention that even donating old pillows to an animal shelter or using them for insulation are eco-friendly solutions. While no generation has achieved the perfect balance of progress and homage to the good ole’ ways, learning from failures and expanding on triumphs might just be the best way to save the only earth we have left.

Au Naturel

The people of the Middle Ages were generally much cleaner than grisly film and folklore make them seem. Bathing occurred much more frequently and efficiently than myth dictates. They used all-natural soap made carefully from animal fat gathered from the local butcherwaste not! If bathing solo, they only used a few inches of water to not waste the precious resource. Applying this to your life today can be as easy as buying organic soap and beauty products. Check for carcinogens and even traces of lead and make a pledge to take a three minute showerunless you’re exceptionally dirty from tilling your fields all day.

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Going Green: Eco-friendly Tips From the Medieval Times

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