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Being green

Published July 02. 2011 09:02AM

As a farewell gift from some friends in South Carolina, we received a basket of goodies. Many of the items were things that we'd have a hard time finding in Florida - good pimento cheese, red pepper jelly, benne wafers, and locally made salad dressings. Among the items was a grocery bag set.

My first reaction was to pooh-pooh the bunch of bags that were designed to prevent me from getting plastic or paper bags when I shopped for groceries. In other words, someone was trying to enforce the "green" philosophy. And, as much as I approve of preserving our environment, I thought I would find it difficult to remember to drag the bags along with me on each shopping trip.

Well, the bags are permanent residents in my car and I have grown accustomed to using them. In addition to water conservation and electric frugality, you might say that our household has become greener.

It makes me laugh when people talk about the current "green" trend. I remember our homes being very green in my childhood.

We had a push mower that we had to drag up and down four terraces to mow the lawn. No burning gasoline just to cut grass.

We drank our water from the spigot, not from plastic bottles that take gazillions of years to disintegrate.

My Dad had a razor that he kept for years, replacing the blades when needed. He didn't throw the whole thing away just because the blade got dull.

We returned our glass bottles (milk, soda, beer) to the store and got a few cents in return.

Mom took us out into the field to collect dandelion fronds to give to the armed forces so they could make parachutes. Don't know how that worked, but it was fun for us.

No one I knew had an electric treadmill. Everybody walked out on the streets.

Mom patched Dad's socks with holes, sewed rips in our clothing, and hung laundry outside to dry.

All the kids either walked to school or took a bus. No parents drove their kids to school unless they had an appointment with a teacher.

Mom washed and saved aluminum foil. She also saved scraps of material, wooden sticks from flags at the cemetery, and old newspapers.

And, if I remember correctly, Mom used to take a wire grocery cart and walk down the street to the Acme store.

So, I guess my new grocery bags are an example of history coming full circle around. Being green is nothing new.


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