My view on "Green"

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Re: My view on "Green"

Post: # 133954Post Odsox
Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:11 am

Jandra wrote:Some good and relevant points were made in the past posts, but...

Rivers, which now harbour fish again, were absolutely foul 40 years ago. There was sulfur in petrol causing acid rain, there was lead in petrol; very healty as well. And though there were less cars, each car in itsself was much more polluting than current cars (less efficient in use and in production, not recyclable, no bioplastics used) and much less safe.
There were phosphates in detergents. There was landfill (in the Netherlands we burn all garbage now), much less control over chemical waste. Smog was much more common in big cities. The milkman's electric float was powered by electricity generated by dirty coal energy plants. DDT was still allowed and causing havoc in the food chain... and so on and forth.
All in all I think the environment is now much less polluted in the west than it was 40 years ago.
Rose coloured glasses are dangerous things and tend to give you tunnel vision :lol:
When I was growing up we had meat once a week (Sunday joint) which sure enough came wrapped in paper, but ....
chicken were only eaten for Christmas dinner as they were way too expensive and turkey was unheard of.
Chicken were so valuable they were donated as raffle prizes, and bowling for a pig was the main attraction at the village fete.
We kept about 100 chicken and sold the eggs for 2/6d a dozen, which was the going price, when the average wage was about £10 per week.
Vegetables were only available "in season" apart from dried pulses, no frozen food. No exotic veg like peppers, aubergines, garlic, squash and courgettes were destined to be marrows when they grew up.
Regarding the cars though, they certainly were more polluting but virtually nobody had one, so not sure if that's entirely relevant.
Every town had it's own gas plant, no natural gas then ... gas was made by heating coal and then stored in gasometers (remember them ?) and you could smell the sulphur dioxide for miles downwind.

On the plus side though, rivers were allowed to flood every winter, nobody in their right mind would even think of building a house on a flood plain. There were far more ponds about, ponds that I used to collect duck eggs from and went fishing in as a kid are no longer there as the water table has lowered so much they are now just depressions in the ground.
Also on the plus side, although I didn't know it at the time, the swinging 60's were just around the corner and I was just about the right age to enjoy the whole decade to it's fullest extent :dave:

Sorry about that ... I wandered off topic a bit (in nostalgia mode).

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Re: My view on "Green"

Post: # 134367Post Flo
Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:11 pm

I believe that I have said elsewhere that I had a green and self sufficentish childhood on a farm. Mother ran a farmhouse and cooked on a coal fired range which dealt with a wide range of waste (good and bad there, emissions but less waste). We used a large amount of self produced (but some purchased) wood to keep the home fires burning as there was no central heating (good and bad as we also used some coal). Clothes were patched and darned till outgrown as far as possible. We had no dustbin collection (too far from anywhere) so had to deal with all our own waste. It's amazing how little waste there is when you have to dispose of your own. Dad ensured that the hedgerows included food (blackberries, think jam and stored in kilner jars, think sloes, haws and hips). The orchard and surrounding vegetable garden were nurtured with care to bulk out the food. Though we didn't slaughter our own, we ate of our own. Furniture was inherited (a fridge and a washing machine are all the household purchases I remember).

It was good training for green living. Unfortunately the hand me down furniture wore out after three generations and I've had to replace! :roll: :mrgreen: But the new will be fit to hand on to others in time. So that passes as green - you have to start the supply of things for passing on down somewhere.

I'd like to say that I have bought all my clothes second hand but the standard of the charity shops are dropped so dramatically and the prices risen so steeply that there is not always the decent choice there - I don't think that buying clothes from T***o, Asda and Primark second hard (and sometimes at the same or more than cost) is a practical way of spending money. I would rather buy as ethically as possible and hope that I can pass some things on. This is not to say that some of my wardrobe is not bought second hand. I can, however, remember when it was possible to buy most of your clothes second hand and be able to go to work dressed respectably in what you bought. This does not seem to be possible any more. Must be all the frugal, green and thrifty people around. :mrgreen: Could I make my own. Yeah I could but the cost might well be extortionate unless I could pick up material second hand, used or offcuts.

I can say that my cleaning habits are much more environmentally friendly than those of my parents who seemed to have joined the lets have it all chemical easy cleaning ways of the swinging 60s. That's down to cost though - soda crystals work wonders for cleaning and laundry at a fraction of the cost of the stuff in pretty packaging backed up by telly ads as the newest chemical wonder.

And I do grow the majority of my own vegetables organically for the sheer joy of it.

S0 - greenish, could be self sufficientish - could do more as have skills and knowledge.

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