This “green revolution” has just become another slight annoyance to me. No, no, no. Not like the way you’re thinking. Of course it makes sense to recycle, of course it makes sense to carpool and drive cars that use less gas, run our homes on solar and wind technology. All of that is great and I’m glad people are becoming aware of what a wasteful, superfluity society we have all turned into over the last 75 years. Everything going green and us getting that warm, fuzzy, feel-good-all-over when we buy it is (sometimes) another way that great marketing gets a hold of us. If we truly want to know how to live a greener life, take lessons from your Grandparents or Great Grandparents. Those are the ones who only drove ONE car, who didn’t use paper towels but re-used flour bags, who knew the importance of creating a compost pile, saving paper bags to reuse, (no, there were no plastic grocery bags), reusing jelly jars for drinking glasses, growing their own food, farming, trading with neighbors, reading library books, sewing their own clothes and mending the old ones they had. When I think about my Grandparents and Great Grandparents living in the eras that they lived, surviving The Great Depression and truly being “green” in all of their practices without effort, I am reminded that “going green” is not buying organically grown, fairtrade, cotton apparel, or hybrid cars or recycled toilet paper. “Being green” for them was just a way of life and who they were. It wasn’t a mood evoked by the desperate need to save our planet or by marketing. They cooked and made everything from scratch. They baked their own bread, canned their own foods to last the winter months and gave the extra to neighbors. They didn’t waste anything.
Cars, appliances, homes, everything was built to last 100+ years back then. There wasn’t this greedy thirst to create products that would self-destruct within 2 years, only to pile up in landfills. All of these companies “going green” need to take lessons from our ancestors who created sustainable products that lasted a lifetime, rather than think they are doing something great and powerful because they are at the very best, using recycled plastics. Sometimes being green means being self-sufficient and less wasteful.