Three things the Amish taught me about money

Yesterday, a couple of readers pointed me to a CNN Money article about why Amish businesses don't fail. Good timing, because today's guest post is from the author profiled in that piece. This is a guest post from Erik Wesner, who researched the Amish for his new book Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive. He blogs about Amish culture at Amish America.

Most people associate the Amish with certain things: simplicity, rumspringa, funny hats. I've been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with Amish over the past few years. And I've found there's both truth and myth behind many of the perceptions.

But one thing that is accurate is the idea that Amish use money and resources wisely. I'd like to share a few observations from my time in Amish America — simple ideas for amping up your savings accounts, cutting waste, and maximizing what you get out of what you already have.

Lower Tech, Lower Costs

Contrary to common belief, the Amish do actually accept a good degree of technology. During a recent stay at my Amish friend Abe's home, his three-year-old woke up one evening with a nasty bark. I first thought it to be whooping cough (sounds pretty Dickensian, I know) but turned out to be the “croup”, something less menacing.

The next morning, Abe asked me to pick up a medicinal vaporizer from Wal-Mart. The kind with a plug that goes in the wall. Abe's home, of course, lacks the outlets needed for that type of thing.

You may be wondering how they expected to operate it. Well, the Amish do have a way of using plug-in devices. Diesel-powered generators coupled with an inverter (a device that creates 110-volt current) can produce enough juice to operate small appliances. It's how they run their 1950s-era wringer-style washing machines and a variety of other implements.

Before you start to think that the Amish have sold out somewhere along the line: It's inconvenient and loud having a diesel engine blasting in your backyard, so it's not something you're apt to overuse. And running one round-the-clock isn't cheap.

And that's the point: Amish allow certain technology, but the way they use it is costly and inconvenient, so they're compelled to limit its usage.

Amish choose to restrict ownership of technology for a couple of reasons:

  • First, owning cars and having new gadgets around the house both invite the world in and take them far from home, potentially threatening their way of life, affecting family and community.
  • Secondly, accumulating all the latest gizmos (as many of us know firsthand) can get pretty expensive.

The takeaway? We're not talking about trading in the Chevy sedan for a Yoder buggy. But it makes one wonder: How much cash does overuse of technology (or for some, an outright addiction to it) suck out of our pockets?

It could be anything from the new set of wheels every third year to the seemingly cheap iPhone apps to the value of the time burnt browsing the net for hours. Hang onto your laptop. But it's worth thinking about how we use technology — not just in terms of the benefits it brings, but the costs it imposes.

Debt is a Tool — and a Bit of It is Healthy

Along the same lines, some Amish do use credit cards. It's nothing near a majority, but those who use credit do so for convenience's sake. Habit and a mentality that says you always pay back your debts means that Amish rarely carry a balance. They use credit cards as one ought to — as a tool that makes life easier, not as a way to spend beyond one's means.

Much more common among Amish would be taking advantage of bank credit for a home mortgage or to fund a business. Not only does this help one reach life and business goals, but when used properly, it can even be a motivator. Having something to pay back gets you out of bed and gets you moving, as an Amishman once explained to me. So the right type of debt, Amish realize, can be healthy.

Lose the high-interest consumer type as quickly as you can by following the debt snowball method or the other great ideas detailed here on Get Rich Slowly. But do take advantage of the right kind of debt as a tool to build a future.

“Little Things Make a Big Difference at the End of the Year.”

This advice came from an Amish business owner who is also a bishop, so when I remember it, it comes with an extra dose of gravitas. (Amish bishops come with the gravitas built-in!)

Along those lines, another Amish entrepreneur brought up the impact of longer breaks. He figured 10 extra minutes a day added up to a week of work lost on an annualized basis. Writing this makes me wonder how many weeks of work I burn checking emails (like I did just now) in the middle of tasks where I'm meant to concentrate (there I go again) until completion.

Abe, an organic produce farmer who is also something of a coffee fanatic, brought a battered travel mug along on a recent road trip. “I guess I should probably wait a while before getting a new one,” he explained. This was just one of many little day-to-day costs that Abe was avoiding. Though it looked a bit beat-up, and maybe didn't insulate as it once did, it still kept the coffee off my floorboards and in the mug. The bottom line is that if it still works, it still has value.

This extends to the things we might normally toss. The coffee grounds from that morning brew end up on Abe's flowerbed to fertilize the plants. The eggshells from our 6 a.m. breakfast go back out to the chicken house, where the birds like to peck at them for calcium. Once picked, Abe's produce is housed in an old semi-trailer converted into a cooling unit. Nothing gets wasted and new uses are found for seemingly tired and spent items.

Even Abe has his weak spots, though, and he lets himself off the hook with a small treat from time to time. For this health-conscious Amishman, that means those fresh-squeezed store-bought juices that cost triple the regular price. He'll splurge occasionally. It makes him happy.

The point: Little savings matter. But even the Amish don't take things to extreme extremes. If you're consciously living a frugal lifestyle, treat yourself from time to time, so you don't end up resenting it and regressing to old habits.

Not Reinventing the Buggy Wheel

This isn't revolutionary stuff. But it doesn't take revolutionary ideas to amp up your savings and slash waste from your life. Simple ideas work — one reason Amish businesses have shown a 5-year survival rate of over 90%, roughly twice the US average.

Applying these ideas, whether in business or in life, doesn't take an MBA or even a GED, as 8th-grade educated Amish prove. Rather, it takes a choice, or rather a series of repeated choices, in the way we think about things like debt, spending, and what we throw away.

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Mrs. Money
Mrs. Money
10 years ago

It’s funny- I’ve always been teased that my family is Amish. I’ve had a slight obsession with them and would love to live on a farm! Of course, I would miss the internet too much. 🙂

Mrs. Money
Mrs. Money
10 years ago

Oh, and another thing: They do their own “health insurance” and pay cash at doctors and hospitals.

shuffle
shuffle
5 years ago
Reply to  Mrs. Money

wrong
when its bad they sponge lots of expensive care from hospitals. especially cancer patients
OR, they just die with no care
It’s a sad ass life they live as they do not think about the future except when screwing others for money

CC
CC
2 months ago
Reply to  shuffle

Sad ass life they live, you kidding? Compared to the toxic society we live in today? The Amish are one of the most humble, pure, honest hardworking communities.

Frugillionaire
Frugillionaire
10 years ago

Fascinating post!

I imagine being part of a tightly-knit community also goes a long way towards saving money. Being able to borrow things, and trade services, can cut living (and business) expenses dramatically.

Rhea
Rhea
10 years ago

I’ve read the book and I love Erik’s blog. It’s a pretty cool thesis about to work.

Erin
Erin
10 years ago

I have a very high level of respect for the Amish. I think they can teach us alot! Especially about community, frugality, and appreciation for simple things.

I don’t think I could live quite as strictly as they do, but I think their simpler way of life is what I’m constantly striving for (without a whole lot of success I might add.)

Tom Schreck
Tom Schreck
10 years ago

I used to think the Amish were admirable. Then I read about their puppy mills and how they exploit and neglect dogs for money.

Changed how I feel a lot. Not saying everyone has to feel the same way but I do.

I blogged on it once:
http://tomschreck.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/conspiracy-tuesday-amish-puppy-mills/

Val Pavlik
Val Pavlik
7 years ago
Reply to  Tom Schreck

I agree with you, Tom. I still think the Amish have lots of good qualities, and are a very frugal culture, but their treatment & breeding of dogs and puppies is horrendous. While they may treat their horses fairly well, they don’t treat their “profits” (puppies) well. Dogs are housed in small cages, bred, and puppies are houses the same way, and then sold. Generally no medical treatment. All in the name of making as much money as they can.

Shara
Shara
10 years ago

I have a lot of respect for the Amish, but with that being said I sometimes wonder if we over idealize them. Every point made here is good. But recently when I came across a similar article I was able to read some comments from people who have lived and worked with Amish that weren’t as complimentary. One that stuck with me as an engineer is their view of education. I don’t know if there is a comfortable way to be an Amish engineer, dentist, or medical doctor. Yeah, the Amish don’t really have a need for IT specialists, but… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
10 years ago

I love Amish furniture. After getting an Amish chair we were no longer able to spend less money on overpriced crappy furniture… so we’ve still got empty rooms as we slowly save up to buy at $1 to $2K per piece. There’s just such a difference in quality and craftsmanship. You should see our gorgeous filing cabinet.

elisabeth
elisabeth
10 years ago

To Mrs. Money’s point @2: I suspect that the Amish aren’t rich enough to pay cash for all their medical problems, even as a large group doing some sort of self-insurance. Chronic diseases and cancer treatments can cost thousands of dollars each month (the treatment I’m on costs the insurance company almost $5,000 every three weeks and it would cost more if I didn’t have insurance). Those kind of situations can only be afforded if there is a large pool providing funds that are reinvested at high enough returns to support the payments. When one is healthy, it is easy… Read more »

Geraldine Cassidy
Geraldine Cassidy
7 years ago
Reply to  elisabeth

Interesting. I took the train to California from NJ and met a young Amish couple on their way to Mexico for the husband’s back surgery. Sounded like this was not unusual in their community.

Shirley
Shirley
7 years ago
Reply to  elisabeth

Yes, the Amish do contribute to their own health insurance plan – handled by an experienced investor – and when needed – they negotiate with the medical facility for a discount as much as 50% because they pay cash within 30 days – this means a lot to the facility and are willing to make a deal like that. End of Life is usually at their homes – not in a nursing home or hospice – however, not to say in some cases they might use such a facility. Unlike some “English” think – the Amish do use doctors and… Read more »

Erik
Erik
10 years ago

Hi Shara, that was a great point. And the Amish do get over-idealized sometimes. I have an Amish friend that calls this “pedestalizing” the Amish. For the purposes of the post I have tried to accentuate a few positive aspects of Amish culture here, but Amish have ‘warts’ as well, which they’d be quick to point out. You make a good point on education, and some Amish do leave for this very reason. A formal education limited to 8th grade would prevent any of the occupations you mentioned being pursued by an Amish person. At the same time the values… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
10 years ago

Funny that you posted this right after your post about buying a new computer 🙂

Nastia
Nastia
10 years ago

Fantastic post, thank you. Amazing how I saw it in my feed the day after I have put my iPod up on eBay (too many gizmos.)

Dustin Taylor
Dustin Taylor
10 years ago

“Much more common among Amish would be taking advantage of bank credit for a home mortgage or to fund a business. Not only does this help one reach life and business goals, but when used properly, it can even be a motivator. Having something to pay back gets you out of bed and gets you moving, as an Amishman once explained to me. So the right type of debt, Amish realize, can be healthy.” I’m not so sure I agree with this. If you have to feel motivated to get out of bed and work in the morning to repay… Read more »

Erik
Erik
10 years ago

Hi Dustin, fair enough. I definitely agree with your point on passion. I would clarify by saying that debt is not the ‘main’ motivator, but ‘a’ motivator–most Amish I speak to are passionate–some highly so–about their chosen field, whether it be furniture making, construction, etc.

But I don’t think it can be denied that knowing you have a monthly payment to make can help to get you moving.

mw
mw
10 years ago

interesting article. I’m sort of a tech geek nerd, but all my other tech geek friends make fun of me because I run an old dell laptop, a hand me down desktop at home and an old cell phone. my motto is if it aint broke, dont spend money to replace it. I’ve done some minor upgrades with RAM and such, but keep the costs down by using what I have.

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
10 years ago

Dustin, although I agree that debt isn’t the best motivator in my book, not everyone has a passion that pays.

I go to work to get my paycheck. Period. I love blogging, but it takes a LOOOOOONG time for that to pay well enough to replace a salary. I also love volunteering, which of course pays nothing.

If that Amish dude needs debt to get out of bed, I’m not going to judge.

Dustin Taylor
Dustin Taylor
10 years ago

I guess my point in all of this is to simply avoid the debt in the first place. You shouldn’t feel the need to have to go to work so you can simply live. Having recently paid $21,000 of debt off (I have absolutely no debt), I find it amazing that we would encourage people to go into debt to use it as a motivator to go to work. It just doesn’t make sense in my mind. If that suits you and that’s how you want to live, I’m fine with that too.

Jenzer
Jenzer
10 years ago

Last year JD posted a link to a fascinating article about Amish hackers (you can use the GRS search function to find it). The typing of “hacking” described in the article provides a creative outlet for Amish folks who are mechanically/engineering-ly inclined, but who choose to remain in the Amish community rather than pursue higher education.

ebyt
ebyt
10 years ago

Huh! Interesting. Learned more about the Amish this morning than I ever have…

chacha1
chacha1
10 years ago

I see an awful lot about how people should follow their “passion” in a career and I think it’s mostly bunk. People who follow their “passion” all too often end up supported by other people. In fact, this is so common that I’d love to see one of J.D.’s thoughtful posts on it. But back to the main topic: The Amish lifestyle sounds all bucolic and lovely, until you remember that buying in means buying into living according to a religious dogma that I, for one, wouldn’t tolerate for a minute. And let’s not assume that their ethic of “community”… Read more »

Erik
Erik
10 years ago

Hi Dustin I would agree not to take on debt if you don’t have to, depending on the circumstances of course. But in some cases debt can make things happen where they otherwise wouldn’t (owning a home, starting a business). Many Amish do try to avoid debt totally though, by starting a business slowly, but sometimes it is a necessity. The point I was making was definitely not “encouraging people to go into debt as a motivator to go to work”. It was rather that some Amish see the motivation you would have to pay it off as a secondary… Read more »

Erik
Erik
10 years ago

Nastia I hear you on gizmos! People sometimes laugh at my ancient Nokia cellphone. But, a) it still works and b) it has big buttons–two big pluses for me! Just have never felt the need to upgrade, though it might be coming soon if the thing ever conks out.

Nick
Nick
10 years ago

Those 10 minute breaks are where I really struggle. It is so easy to get sidetracked on other things, especially when you’re working online. There are numerous programs out there to shut off access to the internet. One that I’ve tried out is Freedom (http://macfreedom.com/). It allows you to disable the internet for up to 8 hours at a time, completely removing it as a distraction.

Neel Kumar
Neel Kumar
10 years ago

The real take-home lesson from this blog post is that one should live according to one’s own values. Far too often we say that we would like to live a less hectic life, more family time and more physical exercise but then do not implement it in real life.

Life is what we make of it. We should search for what kind of life we would want and work towards it. Of course, there would be a lot of course corrections but it would life on our own terms (not what our parents, friends, co-workers, the Joneses etc think).

Erik
Erik
10 years ago

Chacha I think I know what you mean, ie taking passion too far with no regard for practicality, and would like to hear what JD has to say too. But I personally wouldn’t want to discount passion too quickly. You have to be realistic about things like making an income, of course. And a passion may manifest itself on the side while you do something else to pay the bills, or in other ways within an income-generating career. Just my two cents. You make a good point that these lessons are not unique to the Amish, and that’s one I… Read more »

Thisiswhyubroke!
Thisiswhyubroke!
10 years ago

If you have to feel motivated to get out of bed and work in the morning to repay your debt, you’re probably in the wrong business. Drop it and go after your passion, the one that keeps you up late at night, the one that you can’t wait to get up in the morning and get after. Debt should not be used as a motivator. Bad recipe. Having recently paid $21,000 of debt off (I have absolutely no debt), I find it amazing that we would encourage people to go into debt to use it as a motivator to go… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
10 years ago

Erik and Chacha– Totally agreed. A lot of my friends have been reading YMoYL recently (we’re all in the mid 30s career crisis stage) and one of the big things they say jumps out at them is how it talks about how a job is a way to make money, and that is all it is. Your vocation can be aligned with that or it cannot be aligned with that. As an economist, the idea of all or nothing is really foreign… of course you should balance how much you like a job with how well it pays and fits… Read more »

Andy V
Andy V
10 years ago

I am with Tom on this one….I help out with a dog rescue and I am sorry to say that the Amish are some of the worst puppy mill offenders out there 🙁

Dustin Taylor
Dustin Taylor
10 years ago

@thisiswhyubroke

I would say 18k of the 21k of debt was consumer debt. 3k was for going to school. Debt is not a tool. You find that the only people telling you that it is are usually the ones benefiting from you going into debt.

beforewisdom
beforewisdom
10 years ago

I heard the Amish are supposed to be particularly cruel toward animals.

Then again we have kill shelters for homeless pets, Hunington Life Sciences which has tortured dogs, NASA which is shooting chimps up into space, the US Military which has been using dogs and pigs for target practice and last but not least our factory farms ( google on “Earthlings” )

Babs
Babs
10 years ago

How can you ignore the fact that the single most profitable business enterprise of the Amish is Puppy Mills? These people exploit and torture dogs for profit, and I think it’s irresponsible of this author to write an article in praise of the Amish- and even more irresponsible for GRS to publish it!

Is GRS saying that making money at any cost is ok?

J.D. Roth
J.D. Roth
10 years ago

@Babs (#31) Do you think that Get Rich Slowly is saying that making money at any cost is okay? Do you think that Get Rich Slowly is condoning puppy mills? Do you think that praising the Amish for certain traits means that we have to praise them for all traits? Do you think that I agree with everything every guest author writes? (Hint: I don’t.) I know I shouldn’t respond, but your comment pushed my buttons. Life is complex. People and issues are complex. It’s not as simple as Amish == Puppy Mills. Nothing is that simple. If you want… Read more »

Lisa
Lisa
10 years ago

I haven’t heard that the Amish were the worst with the puppy mills. Could someone point me to reliable data on that?

elisa
elisa
8 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

Copied from a New York Post article: “Inside the picturesque barns and wooden fences of Amish country, pedigree puppies are bred by the tens of thousands, many living in a hellish world of filthy, crowded cages. They are ‘puppy mill’ puppies, and they bring in $4 million a year for the 100 Amish and Mennonite farmers who supply boutique dog-shop markets, including at least two New York dealers, the ASPCA says. ‘It’s not just some cottage industry by people who sell bread-and-butter pickles by the roadside,’ said Roger Caras, ASPCA executive director. The farmers sell 20,000 puppies a year to… Read more »

Erik
Erik
10 years ago

Well, puppy mills. I ought to chime in as well. There’s much that could be said, but here’s just a few thoughts: 1.Like most people, I love dogs, and unethical breeders are a bad thing. 2.The vast majority of Amish are not dog breeders. I’m also not certain where you are getting the information that this is the “most profitable business enterprise”. I’m fairly certain that would be furniture. 3.Amish I’ve spoken with condemn the unethical breeders who run operations where dogs suffer. As you might imagine, conditions vary between breeders. 4.The majority of dog breeders in America are non-Amish.… Read more »

TosaJen
TosaJen
10 years ago

Interesting article, especially as it relates to the cost of keeping up with technology and the value of being conservative with one’s finances.

I found the following NY Times article interesting: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/business/smallbusiness/08sbiz.html?pagewanted=2. Especially the following:

Professor Kraybill said … that he knew of no business that had closed in the last six months. “I doubt if many will,” he said, because “the church usually comes in and takes over failing businesses before they fail.”

Not so different from what the secular world has been doing with “too big to fail” companies, eh?

Money Green Life
Money Green Life
10 years ago

technology is good in a sense that it makes things easier and convenient for us, but when we depend on them fir everything, I think it can backfire and make us even lazier

Erik
Erik
10 years ago

Or rather, “too small to fail!” 🙂 Yes it is interesting, I mention that practice in my book, the Amish call it ‘trusteeship’. It does happen occasionally but it’s fairly rare. Typically 3 experienced people are selected to help guide a business in a mentor-like way.

Stephan
Stephan
10 years ago

great post, always interesting to see how different cultures handle money, as this is something that is not often covered. i knew they were frugal, and this just shows that they dont take it to the extreme. the fact that the success rate is 90% for business is astounding, and i dont think that is entirely due to their use of credit. i think they are raised differently, work harder, and are less drastic in their decision making. maybe they just take more time to make decisions in their slower lifestyle, something all of us could probably use a little… Read more »

Shara
Shara
10 years ago

Money Green Live @36 I have been reading some doomsday people lately fretting over what would happen if we got a neutron shower, or terrorists took out a major electrical supply, etc. I don’t worry about being ‘too dependent on my laptop’. But while I think some of their fears are far fetched,I do worry about what I would do for water if our electricity went out for an extended period of time since I’m on a well. From this perspective I think we have taken a huge risk as society being dependent on people we don’t know working in… Read more »

TosaJen
TosaJen
10 years ago

Hi Erik,

DH/we are looking at buying a franchise, and the failure rates of the best-run franchisors run less than 10% as well — the mentoring and buying back failures sounds like a similar business model to what you describe for the Amish. The franchisors we’re talking to are very supportive and very fiscally conservative.

It’s fun to find how successful patterns propagate, even among different cultures.

Amanda L. Grossman
Amanda L. Grossman
10 years ago

Hello Erik! I come from Lancaster County, PA, and grew up on a dairy farm. No…I am not Amish (everyone always asks me that), but my family has close ties to them. In fact, my father is employed as a driver for the amish when they have to go to doctor’s appointments, or take trips to Montana, or visit family members in Indiana–he loves his job. Also, I wrote a Best of Money Carnival-winning post called Amish Finances you might wish to check out (on my website, under “Best of Frugal Confessions”). It was featured here on Get Rich Slowly.… Read more »

DL
DL
10 years ago

I don’t want to generalize all Amish but some have good businesses but at the expense of animals. I am talking about Puppy Mills. I live in Ohio and there is an animal rescue group that regularly rescue dogs from thei puppy mills. They use and abuse these dogs to make their money and then discard them as if garbage. I believe there was even a Dateline special on this. So if being “a good business person” means not being humane I would not want any part of it.

Daddy Paul
Daddy Paul
10 years ago

My neighbors are Amish. They do what it takes to keep their community going. Last year one of the guys became an E bay power seller selling little wooden goods they make. This year they are cutting oak and shipping off to another Amish colony. They would like to get beck to making furniture.

Maharani
Maharani
10 years ago

Give me technology anyday. Have you ever tried washing out menstrual rags? I have and it isnt fun.

Lefty33
Lefty33
10 years ago

“How can you ignore the fact that the single most profitable business enterprise of the Amish is Puppy Mills? These people exploit and torture dogs for profit, and I think it’s irresponsible of this author to write an article in praise of the Amish- and even more irresponsible for GRS to publish it!” This is easily the most idiotic comment that I’ve seen in almost three years of reading GRS. I’m very familiar with the PA Amish as I live very close and have dealt with and been around them my whole life. And the most profitable business enterprises of… Read more »

shuffle
shuffle
5 years ago
Reply to  Lefty33

My sister rents from an amish person. They bring their tools and freezer to her garage and plug it in for free and basically use her modern day stuff. Then they charge exhorbitant rent and refuse to repair anything on the house. I believe a lot of it is they are simply too ignorant to understand electric and plumbing. They DO understand getting top dollar in rent though! I have lived in Lancaster County most of my 60 years and I can say nearly all the so-called ‘religious’ beliefs of the amish are simply ways they can take advantage of… Read more »

beforewisdom
beforewisdom
10 years ago

#31 @Barb
I think restraint is called for as JD and the author probably, like most people aren’t even aware of the issues.

#34 @Erik
Huge numbers of completely wonderful companion animals are killed every year simply because there are not enough homes for them. There is a massive pet overpopulation problem. Any animal breeding is unethical breeding these days.

Erik
Erik
10 years ago

#46 @beforewisdom Definitely, that is a good point. I am far from an expert on the dog breeding issue in general but have read reports on how many dogs are killed, and one thing that surprised me was that some dogs meet their end in shelters as well. But I think that’s a separate, much larger issue outside of the question of the Amish involvement in the industry. Another issue would be the ethics of breeding designer dogs or those breeds which have developed inherent health problems by selective breeding over time. I’m personally not a big fan of that… Read more »

Erik
Erik
10 years ago

#40 @TosaJen That is neat to hear that you are seeing some similarities there. It is an interesting model. #41 @ Amanda Hi Amanda, thanks for letting me know about your article! It’s funny but it sounded familiar and when I found it I realized I had come across it already, a few months ago. Great article, you really did a nice job. Your comment on Amish taxi drivers was interesting too–Amish seem to often develop close relationships with their drivers, as you’d expect when spending enough time in the car. One thing I noticed though: they all tend to… Read more »

statewide van lines
statewide van lines
10 years ago

A good point about using the things other people normally toss: I also use coffee grounds as a fertilizer for my house plants. And shopping bags as garbage bags. And an old tooth brush to clean my kitchen cabinets. So many items in our household are actually reusable, not only we save by not buying new ones to replace them, we also contribute less to the crazy amount of garbage our civilization produces on a daily basis.

the other Tammy
the other Tammy
10 years ago

Sorry for the long post, I’ve got a lot to say! First of all, if anyone is interested in learning more about the Amish, I recommend reading Plain Secrets by Joe Mackall, which is a great book that neither idolizes or condemns Amish life, just tells it how it is. Amish sects vary wildly, even within individual counties. I live in a very conservative Amish area in Ohio…the buggies with windshields that you see on TV? Not here. You won’t even see the orange slow vehicle signs on their buggies. Don’t be quick to lump all the Amish together, because… Read more »

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