Thursday, 28th January 2021
Thats Life Article

This Month's Magazine
Is it nostalgia

Is it nostalgia

Or better perhaps a lesson in conservation

Once upon a time, grocery stores, as opposed to supermarkets, put our groceries into brown paper bags that we reused for various things; even to make brown paper book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that the books were kept as clean and tidy as possible so they could be passed on to other children. Now we are made to buy throw away plastic bags to put the shopping in and add to the mountain of refuse that we collect when we buy our shopping.

Just look at you rubbish bin at the end of the day or even week; it is full to the top with empty wrappings, boxes and packaging of all sorts as opposed to real organic waste. Back then, we returned milk bottles, lemonade bottles & beer bottles to the shops. The shops then sent them back to the suppliers to be washed, sterilized and refilled, so that the same bottles were used over and over. This is real recycling.

We did not need doctors to tell us to walk a mile a day to keep down our weight and fight obesity and diabetes 2, back then we had to walk up and down stairs because we didn’t have an escalator in every store or
office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go 200 yards. People took the bus and children rode bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s expensive car or van, which cost swhat a whole house used to.

There may be a lot to be said for today’s throw away nappies but in the past we washed the baby’s nappies, we dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind & solar power
actually really did dry our clothes back then. Children got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brandnew clothing For home entertainment there was just one radio in the house, not a TV in every room. 


And if anyone did own a TV, it had a small screen not one the size of a football pitch. When cooking, we blended and stirred by hand as we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send by post, we used layers of old newspapers to cushion it, not plastic bubble wrap. We didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn, we simply used a push mower using human power.

Most of all we exercised by working so we was no need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity We drank from a tap or 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 blade in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest leisure park. 

While the present generation may comment on how wasteful we used to be, there is no denying that we certainly have made our lives more comfortable to the extreme but we have also added more speed and stress to our way of life and I do think that there is certainly a good lesson to be leaned by looking back and perhaps even adopt some of the lessons that the our grandparents from past can teach us. I am sure we could be a much healthier race.

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