Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Greener Side Of The Fence by Kim

I am a child of the 60's, my grandmother raised me, she was 10 years old at the end of WWI and a young married woman during the depression and WWII . To say she had seen a lot is putting it lightly. Some people would say she was frugal while others called her cheap but in this day and age you would say she was green before green was green. My mom recycled or reused everything, foil, sandwich and bread bags, paper bags, bottles clothing absolutely everything. In fact mom took cloth bags to the grocery store so this was a concept I grew up with. I remember the days before second hand and antique stores or yard sales. I think the only venture in to the world of buying used was The Goodwill and Salvation Army.

In those days people were very wasteful, I guess it was because the economy was so good, people were tired of going through all the hard times and they wanted to prove they could afford to be wasteful. I got teased a lot because we reused things, bought second hand and recycled newspaper, magazines, phone books, aluminum and pop bottles. I did it to get spending money, mom did not believe in allowances her philosophy was why should I pay you for the privilege of being my daughter. If you want spending money figure out a way to earn it.

I have to admit that as they years past my frugal greenness slipped a little as I became a little wasteful too. But I have gone a little greener lately. There are certain things I have always done like the cloth shopping bags and refillable products. I like the fact that I am not tossing so many plastic bottles away. I have always saved certain items for reuse and I always shop second hand, not only to save money but also I believe in reusing things that have a lot of use left in them. PLUS there are some things that they just made better then they do now. Our society is a disposable one and things are not made to last. I love the style of the 30's, 40's and 50's the quality of the appliances are so much better then today’s they were made by people that knew what it was like to not have the money to buy things. They also knew that the money spent on their item had to be spent wisely and on something that would be with the buyer for the rest of their lives. I like that concept. I am a romantic and a dreamer so when I buy a vintage appliance I always think of the woman that originally bought it ,of her hopes and dreams and I add that image to my own. I love my recycled items so much more then the ones I simply buy new.

So this is another way you can go greener, buy used. Reuse what you can like butter bowls and grocery bags, don't toss them away many stores have receptacle so you can bring them in so they can be recycled. Our public library has a bin for used eye glasses, Ace Hardware recycles batteries. Swagbucks recycles cell phones, many shelters love to get the old cell phones because the 911 function is never turned off and even though they may be too old to be used as a functioning cell phone they can still be given to people who are in jeopardy so help is only a touch away. Many schools, churches and youth organizations collect and recycle items to get the extra money to keep their programs going so don't toss it if it can be recycled!