There is a tendency in all of us to compare the old to the new. This is especially true in the preparedness community where in anticipation of hard times ahead, we look to our parents and grandparents for ideas for living a self-reliant and sustainable life.
I have been thinking about that a lot lately; even to the extent that I have considered sewing up some long skirts and pioneer-style aprons that will hold up to a week or two of wear without laundering. Seriously.
Anyway, the following piece has been circulating the web for awhile. I thought it was worth bringing back since it describes a not-so-long ago time when the term “green” referred to the color of your grass or the money in your pocket (green stuff).
As I was reading this, it occurred to me that many of these old fangled ways of doing things fall right in line with what each of us would be required to do in a crisis or emergency with limited sources of power, few goods available on the shelves, and a cost of living so high that there was little left for discretionary spending.
Perhaps it is time to redefine “green” in old-fashioned terms.
The Old-fashioned, Old Fogey Rules of Sustainability
In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”
The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment.”
He was right, that generation didn’t have the green thing in its day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But they didn’t have the green thing back in that customer’s day. In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.
But she was right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.