A Non-Electric Life

My daughter is getting her own apartment. She’ll be moving soon and the whole family has

Double-layer dish cloths are made from a poly/cotton blend that makes them extra thick, absorbent and durable.

Double-layer dish cloths are made from a poly/cotton blend that makes them extra thick, absorbent and durable.

been very busy helping her get ready for this step into independence. A big part of getting ready is supplying her with all the stuff necessary to running a small household. She needs everything from dishcloths to furniture. While helping her shop I have been delighted to find that so many of her choices follow right in line with my own. She is going for non-electric at every opportunity.

So far she has turned down an electric can opener, a vacuum cleaner, a blender and a

Lightweight hand vacuum makes for quick and comfortable clean up. Adjustable for carpet or smooth floors.

Lightweight hand vacuum makes for quick and comfortable clean up. Adjustable for carpet or smooth floors.

stand mixer. I must confess I was surprised by the vacuum. I thought she might well go for convenience but she didn’t. She said she found vacuums loud, heavy and awkward. She loves our little carpet sweeper and that’s what she wants. She even refused to pick up detergent for the dishwasher, claiming that she can hand wash and dry dishes in a fraction of the time a dishwasher takes. She’s right, of course but I somehow how thought the lure of the exotic would be enticing.

She picked up an egg beater, good knives and chooses a supply of Mason jars rather than a box of plastic containers for leftovers. Although there is a clothes dryer in the apartment, my daughter asked for a drying rack. She says she has many better things to spend money on than electricity to dry clothes when she can dry them in her room for free and add some much needed moisture in the air at the same time. She even put an emergency kit on her wish list.

You'll always have fresh herbs on hand for your meals. Indoor harvest box goes right on your window sill, so you can grow your favorite herbs all year.

You’ll always have fresh herbs on hand for your meals. Indoor harvest box goes right on your window sill, so you can grow your favorite herbs all year.

She has already gotten flashlights, matches and lanterns and still wants some canned food and bottled water.

I’m mighty proud of my girl. Her priorities are all in the right place and I feel confident that she will continue to make choices that are frugal, environmentally sound and in line with our family’s value system. Now I just have to convince her to grow some herbs on her windowsill and tomatoes on the back stoop and my job will be done.

Kathy Harrison

About Kathy Harrison

Kathy Harrison is the author of Just in Case, Another Place at the Table, and One Small Boat. She is a national spokesperson for both foster parenting and family preparedness and has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and National Public Radio. She lives with her family in western Massachusetts.