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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Are We Really Green?


I was talking to my daughter the other day, and then a couple of friends. They believe the world was more environmentally friendly thirty years ago.
Apparently I’m a dinosaur. I had that garage sale, but learned that people only want antiques – like old records - or something fairly new. I had a plain, working, regular, coffee pot. No one wanted it. My daughter explained that was because they were looking for a Keurig. And from there we moved in to a discussion on how environment friendly the Keurig was - with all their little pods – one per cup of coffee - that went to the landfill.

Even if something is functional and works, people don’t want it and don’t want to recycle like we used to do. They want pretty, fancy and according to commercials, what everyone else has. Nowadays everything is plastic, often made in China and only lasts two or three years and it’s thrown out. Everything is packaged in Styrofoam. Nothing is reused. Twenty or thirty years ago when we shopped it was put in a brown bag. Things lasted forever, so they weren’t thrown out. I have a blender that’s very heavy and made of solid glass. It’s about 40 years old and still works great. My daughter has an electric hand mixer from her grandmother that still works. We don’t throw them out for something that looks better than our neighbors but will break down in a few years.
What about you? Do you use things until they break down, or replace with the latest cool-looking gadgets? Do you recycle? Do you use your own grocery bags art do you use the store’s plastic bags? (I’ve been using my own for about 30 years. I still have Safeway bags from 30 years ago.)  I know – I’m a dinosaur. :)

6 comments:

  1. I think things go in waves. We were more environmentally friendly at that time because our grandparents grew up during the great depression. They knew that money didn't grow on trees. I still see some people today who are using older things or fixing up broken items and reusing them. It takes a special person to not need the new and latest and greatest thing.

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  2. I think you hit it. Some people still keep and repair, but so many want the things that commercials say they need and their friends and neighbors have.

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  3. Oh my gosh, I had to laugh! I have this fabulous waffle maker that was a wedding gift to my mother. It's pushing 100 years old! (My mom had me very late in life. I have nieces and nephews who are virtually my age. I've gone through two gifts that made the deeper Belgium waffles. I'll stick to the old thing, I do check the cord before I use it. And I never walk away from it or leave it plugged in. If it's plugged in, it's ON!

    OTOH as women, we've really been duped by those commercials that made us want whiter clothes or the newest clothes dryer, etc. I've done so much research on the changes of a woman's role in the house. The major changes really came in the 1920's with small appliances and big ones! Yes, our clothes are cleaner, are rugs are cleaner, and our floors are spotless without a speck of dust floating anywhere in our homes. We've even begun bleaching our teeth because we don't want a yellow smile. Why? Advertising. Yes, it's nice to be clean. But each new vacuum cleaner promises better results and we can see it with each pass over the brown powder that has been tossed on that white carpet!

    Our children no longer wear hand-me-downs - heaven forbid, they might be out of style as they play in the neighborhood! Oh, wait! They no longer go outside to play. How could they play on the jungle gym with that cell phone attached to their waists? And no one owns a jungle gym because the children might fall off and sue the parents. Oh, times have changed.

    Around here, brown paper bags are cat toys. :-)

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    1. Oh E, that was so funny. I'd forgotten about hand-me-downs. I had a cousin two years older and got all her clothes and never thought anything about it. And you are so right about children no longer going outside to play - which is why one of society's biggest problems is obesity in children.
      Loved your post.

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  4. Being an urban planner from way back, I was trained in the idea of environmental protection, which includes recycling. More than fifty years ago people in my profession and others were trying to convince the general public and politicians that we need to pay attention to what we were going to the environment. It's suddenly become very popular to be "green" but I often doubt that most supporters haven't a clue about what environmental protection is or what it entails. Good post. Thanks for bring up the subject.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by. You sound very knowledgeable and I agree, most people don't really 'get it.'

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