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Green Like Gran

Green Trends That Prove Your Gran Was Right All Along

If you wanted to get clued up about the latest lifestyle trends, you probably wouldn’t think to ask your gran. But it certainly seems that those wise words and helpful household tips she loves to share are making a comeback. From getting glass milk bottles delivered to knitting your own sweaters, some of the latest eco-friendly trends millennials are loving are definitely a throwback to your gran’s era. 

We took a trip down memory lane when we interviewed 82-year-old Joan, to find out more about the green lifestyle changes that might be new to us, but which our grandparents have been doing right all along.

Knit One, Purl One

Joan used to knit sweaters for herself, her family and friends.

Traditional hobbies like crocheting, embroidery and knitting are making a comeback with millennials. Where in the past these crafts were purely practical, today they’re enjoyed as hobbies.

Today’s hobbyists have added a more rebellious touch to the once shy and retiring pastimes, with movements like yarn-bombing and feminist embroidery growing in popularity. Knitting has even been found to help with conditions like anxiety and depression.

Glass Bottle Milk Delivery

Our green gran Joan remembers getting glass bottles of milk delivered to her doorstep by the local milkman and returning them to him to be reused.

Traditional hobbies like crocheting, embroidery and knitting are making a comeback with millennials. Glass milk bottles from the milkman are making a comeback, as people look for plastic-free alternatives. Milk & More have local milkmen who deliver and collect milk in glass bottles, which are reused over and over.
The majority of our milkmen drive zero emission vehicles, and they can deliver many items from small, regional suppliers too.

Sharing Economy

Back in her day, Joan and her neighbours would share tools and skills and exchange favours.

Skill sharing is proving popular with the help of the internet. Apps like Helpful Peeps allow people to exchange skills with people who live nearby. People can offer to sew, paint, garden or bake in return for language lessons, music tuition, dog walking and many more skills. The Library of Things is another great scheme that lets people borrow anything, from gardening tools to kitchen appliances.

Bottle Deposit Schemes

Joan would return her other glass bottles to the store to get a deposit back, rather than throwing them away.

Today the average UK household uses 480 plastic bottles each year, and Britain fails to recycle 16 million plastic bottles every day. People are increasingly aware of the problem, and are looking for opportunities to reuse and recycle more. Plastic, glass and metal bottle deposits are due to be introduced in the UK later this year to encourage recycling. 

A Bag is for Life

Eco-gran Joan recalls how her 
generation would do their grocery shopping with string bags or baskets, before plastic bags became the norm.

The recent 5p plastic bag levy has reduced 
plastic bag usage by 85% since it was brought in. Now we barely ever forget our reusable bags as we return to Joan’s generation’s shopping tactics. Tote bags and reusable shoppers are now something of a fashion statement, with everyone from Chanel to Glastonbury Festival producing their own versions. 

Fresh Food Daily

When Joan was younger, buying fresh food daily from local shops meant there was less need for 
plastic packaging.

The weekly shop, popular with the baby boomer generation, is declining. Millennials tend to buy locally for convenience, and shop for fresh produce more regularly – both online and in store.