A few weeks ago on Radio NZ, Gareth Morgan spoke about that in a recession people like to ” run home to Mum” . I found this idea for Green Grannies on www.springwise.com and it struck a chord. Wouldn’t it be great to harness the skills of our older folk to get us through these difficult times and also to pass on skills that we used to have. Only my mother has the patience to teach my daughter to knit!
Grandmothers are known for many virtues, not the least of which is their ability to knit spectacular socks. Perhaps even more admirable, however, is the older generation’s ability to make the most of limited resources.
With just that talent in mind, Oxfam recently recruited a team of what it calls Green Grannies to offer advice to the UK public about everything from how to darn socks to how to make delicious food from leftovers. Part of Good Ideas Unltd, Oxfam’s new lifestyles campaign, the service aims not only to help UK consumers save cash, but also to encourage recycling and help tackle climate change, which it notes has a particularly hard impact on the world’s poorest populations. To disseminate the grannies’ advice, Oxfam has launched a YouTube channel—a recent clip describes how to stay warm at night without running the heat, for example—and will soon debut its ‘Ask a Granny’ service on the Oxfam website.
Green Granny Barbara Walmsley explains: “I have always made the most of what I have—it just comes naturally to me. Every granny has her own tricks for saving money, and I’m really glad to have the chance to share them with younger people. Its great to be involved with a campaign which is helping people living in poverty now, and which will also help take care of the world for my grandchildren’s generation.”
“Waste not, want not” is a maxim that works well both from an economic and an environmental perspective, and it’s also one that comes naturally to older generations. Where else could consumers benefit from some elderly advice….?