Saturday, April 22, 2017

earth day remixed and remuddled









Each generation seems to think that it has reinvented the world and all things in it. How else can one explain the return of platform shoes?  And that isn't all,  consider the idea of saving the earth through being "Green".  I think it used to be called being frugal, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."  We once called it recycling
or repurposing.   I could spend hours watching Eugene Runcus of "Hillbilly Blood" repurpose all sorts of things, even making an air conditioner for his Moms car using scraps and castoff parts.   "Hillbilly ingenuity"  they called it, the thoughtful staff of the program also warned us some of these ideas could be dangerous and not to try them at home.

"Tyme" was, really "Olde Tyme" was, clothing was passed down, even written into wills. It must have been an honor to get garments someone had worn and loved.  Somewhere along the timeline, when cloth and later clothing were mass produced, the hand me down was invented, also the rag bag which was the forerunner of the paper towel, one guesses.  Buttons were carefully removed from old garments and put in a jar, these buttons and other tiny, decorative treasures were reused, sorting through the buttons was also something to do and daydream over on a rainy day.  Old clothes were often taken apart and made into quilts. not necessarily the colorful patterned bedding we think of but merely fabric carefully pieced and layer together to make a warm blanket.
Sadly clothing that had been out grown or was out of style , became "hand me downs".
A term much dreaded by those who find themselves wearing someone's, especially a sibling's "hand me downs" to school. 

As many of my  readers know I was around for the first Earth Day, a way back 47 years ago, and I was excited about it then and over time my excitement has turned to passion and that passion that has become a lifestyle.   





1970

That's what Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin believed. He was disturbed that an issue as important as our environment was not addressed in politics or by the media, so he created the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970. An estimated 20 million people nationwide attended festivities that day.

The First Earth Day - America's Library

www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/modern/jb_modern_earthday_1.html



Though I am far from a shinning example,  living gently on the earth is as close to a goal as I will ever have.  Along the way, I have learned a lot, sometimes a lot more than I wanted to know about repairing and repurposing things.  Learned how to use my internet machine  to explain to me how to fix things, and even to remake clothing  and repurpose other items.   I don't have recycling bins, I have a recycling room.  Anything I can buy second hand, I will.  Etcetera Etcetera Etcetera!  Also I won't buy things that have too much packaging. And I could keep in going, but that would be very dull, and preachy reading  indeed.

But "green" , no I'm not green, I'm well season wood when it comes down to it.









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In truth this recycled thought, from a message sent to me on my internet machine, which is also recycled, from a friend who also lives in a house where recycling rules, though I wouldn't  exactly call us "green". 





Back then, we returned 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 we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, which we reused for
numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of
brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that
public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced
by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books. But, too bad we
didn't do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs because we didn't have an escalator in every store and
office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a
300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We
didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away
kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up
220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early
days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always
brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing
back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And
the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a
screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred
by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When
we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers
to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire
up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that
ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health
club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we
didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a
plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with
ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor
instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we
didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to
school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. 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
burger joint.

But 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?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in
conservation from a smart ass young person...

We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us
off.

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haiku~~~forever

~~Mickie Postle wander among trees on the path I used to walk forever is here