In most areas of our world, 209 countries to be exact, the big push is on to do the “Green Thing,” to protect and preserve the vital future of our precious environment. Among the many suggestions that will go a long way to pushing this movement into a full bloom and help us to lead a much greener life include: energy control, turn down and switch off, save the trees, land clean-up and reclamation, recycling and reusing to reduce waste, purchasing local resources and walking more than driving.
Although some may suggest it was the generations of the past who were wasteful and abused our environment, I must totally disagree. Many of us who proudly came from that fabulous era of amazing growth will insist that while we had to make do with what we had in the early days, we had to quickly adjust to the overwhelming influx of new and modern inventions and conveniences that were supposed to make our lives a whole lot easier. Of course we didn’t have “The Green Thing” back then but we did the very best that we could to respect and maintain our rapidly expanding and functioning neighbourhoods and natural surroundings.
So how did we ever manage to survive?
Back then, we returned milk, soda and beer bottles to the store, which in turn sent them to a plant to be washed, sterilized and refilled so that they could be used over and over again, which could have been called recycling. As our families were growing and constantly expanding, instead of new clothes we had to often make do with hand-me-downs from brothers and sisters, we really depended on our big gardens, preserved energy by spending more time outside or going to bed early and wrote or typed on both sides of the paper.
We walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator or an elevator in every store, office building or apartment. Believe it or not, when we went to the grocery store, school or down town we had to walk, ride our bikes, or when in cities, take the bus. Today, we climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we have to go anywhere and have turned many busy mothers into 24-hour taxi services.
In those days we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind, we dried clothes on the line and not in an energy gobbling machine that burned up 220 volts, because we always had lots of free natural wind and solar power. I can hardly imagine now that back then we had only one radio, phone or television in the house and many who now have one of each in every room, might recall that first black and white television set with a screen the size of our dad’s big handkerchief but now covers one wall. Out in the kitchen, we blended and stirred everything by hand because we didn’t have all those noisy whirling machines that now do the same thing a whole lot faster. There was actually a time when there was only one electrical outlet in each room and not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances and blow out the whole circuit on many occasions.
When we packaged up a real fragile item to send in the mail we wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, and didn’t have Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap and bags, which they now don’t want in the landfill. We didn’t fire up a gasoline engine just to cut a lawn but instead used a push mower that ran on human power. Lots of great exercise was achieved by working, walking and playing and we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on or peddle electrical treadmills and bikes to stay in shape. When we were thirsty we drank from a fountain or the garden hose instead of using a plastic bottle or cup each time. At school or the office we refilled our writing pens with ink instead of buying a new one and we replaced the blades in our razor instead of tossing the whole thing away just because the blade was dull.
For those who now find ourselves in the 50-plus and beyond range we should be proud that we have survived this amazing transformation into a new and fast-paced era and lifestyle, whether it be green, grey or anywhere in between. We have somehow managed to become a happy part of a multi-vehicle family with all the toys, we don’t mind that we have to call on our grandchildren to help us with our handy-dandy computers and gadgets, and we will adjust to the fact that most daily meals will never be on a regular schedule ever again.
Whatever the case or from which generation you may have entered into the action , please live life to the fullest, and have a great week, all of you!