April 26, 2017

Being Green… Back in the Day

Green Grocery Cart

I don’t consider myself old, but when I stop to think about it the number that comes up when I subtract my birth year from the current year… I’m getting old. I saw this little story shared on Facebook and had to share it somewhere else as well. I remember all of these things. I enjoy the things I have, but I do long for a simpler time when there wasn’t quite so much to distract or worry about.  Wastefulness really irritates me and I’ve never really thought about the connection with the green movement (which I generally am in support of) and the compensation that’s needed because of other “advancements” in our daily lives.

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truly recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a 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 blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. 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 burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

What do you think? Remember those days? Wish you could have them back? Or do we just need to find a better balance between advancing and maybe being a little too-smart-for-our-britches?

Remembering Paul Harvey and The Rest of the Story

Paul HarveyThe best commercial in last night’s Super Bowl XLVIII was by far the Dodge Ram truck commercial that featured the voice of radio icon, Paul Harvey. He was sharing one of the poems he had written called “God Made a Farmer”. You can see watch the commercial below if you missed it, or again if you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Although the commercial struck a chord with many viewers because of the contrast of a great commercial compared to the sex and moral decay usually exhibited in other commercials of the evening, it rang true with me because I remember hearing Paul’s calming voice and his sharing of “The Rest of the Story” through my childhood. Having worked in radio a bit myself, Paul Harvey was one of the people I kind of looked up to and got inspiration from in my own efforts.

After seeing last night’s commercial and explaining who Paul Harvey was to my kids, I did a little searching online this evening and came across the Paul Harvey Archives Unofficial website. Even though they’re not official, they have various (I’m not sure if they have all of them?) episodes of Harvey’s classic renditions of the episodes available for download in MP3 format. I just finished downloading almost 700 of them, which I’m now going to burn onto a CD and keep with me in my car.

When I want to relax and reconnect with my childhood of a better and simpler time, I”ll just pop the CD in and listen to a few. I’ve already shared a couple about Walt Disney and Andy Griffith with my daughter.

Is This How to Fix Congress

U.S. Capitol BuildingTwo political posts in a row. Let me know if I’m running any of my readers off and I’ll try to stop! =)

I recently saw the following item posted online. Although according to Snopes.com it’s mostly accurate related to Warren Buffet having made the quote. He did not initiate the other items. Regardless though, I believe all of these items are steps that should be taken with our existing legislature to make sure the people that are supposed to be elected to represent us can actually recognize what it means to be part of the “us” and the “US” they were elected to represent.

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking (no he didn’t, the writer of the original email did) each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

Congressional Reform Act of 2012

  1. No Tenure / No Pension. –  A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.
  2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. – All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
  3. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. – Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
  4. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
  5. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
  6. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/1/12.  – The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

Do you agree? There’s nothing stated here that I would disagree with right now. I’m sure there are details of it that might get complex at some point, but I say keep it simple and straight forward.