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When ’green’ was natural


There’s a lot of political ground to be gained by going green and saving the environment, but back in the day, we were not so politically aware.

For instance, no one walked into the corner grocery store (when there were “corner groceries” instead of mega food markets) with reusable cloth bags for carrying their groceries. No. We welcomed the brown paper bags, and reused them until they crumbled.

We covered our books with the large bags. (That was before ButterKrust cornered the market by providing students with book covers.) The small brown bags were great for packing the kids’ lunches.

But, who knew? It’s a different world today.

Now we have projects such as Solyndra, which was supposed to “save jobs” and support an environmentally correct business that manufactured solar panels. This, of course, turned out to be none of the above. Millions of taxpayer dollars went into this now-bankrupt business.

There also is the Chevy Volt, the hybrid car. Not only did it fail to save the environment, but, in the end, it could not even save itself. Despite federal dollars to support it, the Volt costs way more to produce than its selling price.

The problem with these environmentally sensitive undertakings is they fail to consider the cost of implementing them. Often the “savings” is far less than the expense of setting them into motion. Too many of these “green” projects are but wishful thinking. Back in the day, conserving came naturally.

As a recent email said, we returned and reused milk bottles, soda bottles, and beer bottles. We didn’t know that we were being environmentally sensitive, but we were.

We walked, and climbed stairs instead of buying expensive equipment to force us into various contortions so that we could get our exercise. We “recycled” cloth diapers by washing them, and used real solar power to dry the laundry on clotheslines. We also were not deficient on Vitamin D because we naturally got plenty of it by being outdoors.

After dark, the kids would come inside from playing in the yard, and we’d all gather around a radio, and later around one family television, for our evening entertainment. We “conserved” by sharing. Each kid didn’t have his or her own iPod, iPad, or iPhone to lounge around with.

We repaired our television set instead of buying a new one. Forget bottled water. We used a cup or thermos, washed it, and reused it. Fountain pens were filled with ink instead of being discarded when the ink ran out. Now everything is disposable.

We cooked on stoves in our homes instead of stopping at a drive-through to get a sack of prepared “fast food.” To be sure, we didn’t know about the green thing back then.

We were healthier, though. There was less obesity, and we slept well at night without Ambien.Back in the day, when being green came naturally.

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