The Green Thing: An Early Recycling Story

Recycling Green Thing

Of Course I Can Mom SaysMom didn’t have the time to haul us around and Dad usually had the only car in the family at work. Mom was too busy washing the diapers, canning the fruits and vegetables, and stirring up the great home-cooked meals to be bothered with hauling us anywhere. If we wanted to go somewhere it was up to us to figure out a way to get there.

Electrical Outlets

“We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.”

Pizza was not a meal. It was an occasional treat when you were in a town that had a pizza parlor. Homemade ice cream and fresh fruits were much bigger and better treats day in and day out.

Current Generation

“… isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?”

1940 CommoditiesAge seems to have a tendency to blur our vision of the past and make us look at present conditions as if they were something new and bright. Most of our photographs in the old days of the mid-20th Century were in black and white. They were often somewhat out of focus. We have a tendency to think of our past days as existing in a dozen shades of grey.

But they didn’t. A look at some of the old color photos from the 1940s that can be found in the national archives shows us that the good old days were just as colorful and fully in focus as of today.

Plane Factory War and tough economic times, and even the recovery from them, was just as green as of today’s world, if not more.

If there was any problem we created, it was that we kept filling up those diaper pails and bringing more people into this world. It was at a rate that sometimes challenges the available resources to support those who inhabit this planet.

Final Word on Recycling

The “Green Thing” the current generation supposedly laments about has always been with us. Our old school habits are nothing if not green. We pride ourselves in having reduced, reused, and recycled everything we could, from milk bottles to diapers. True, we might have done it to lower costs and be more efficient, but the payoff was the same. The need to put it to good use has only been compounded by our ever-growing populations.

Unbeknownst to us, we created the “green thing” everyone talks about nowadays and it is our duty to keep it alive. A little refocusing on where we came from and how we lived and passing those life experiences on to those generations that follow us could go a long way.

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