Older Adults and the Sustainability Mindset 

Black Farmer

Wheat in the front yard and a pig in the backyard.  This was the description of an older woman’s upbringing in an Eastern European county, raised in the 20’s and 30’s.  Many older adults are very experienced gardeners.  Some learned from a farming background.

Now we call it the Sustainability Movement.  It used to be standard practice, more of a practical mindset.  Don’t waste food, don’t take more than you need, simple local and fresh food is best, live in walkable neighborhoods, plant a garden.

Michael Pollan, a well known author and food activist, says don’t buy food with an ingredient list that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.

When my mother in law was living alone in her home, she was generating about one plastic grocery bag of garbage a week.

So as we are all trying to change our behavior to improve sustainability of our environment, many older people have been raised this way.  They don’t need to change their behavior as much as many younger people do.  In fact, they can teach us a thing or two.


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