Had a phone conversation with my Buddy the other night (because I am now unemployed we don't get together as often). Not sure how we got on the topic, but..we started talking about the old and the new. Of course writing that, makes me realize I AM old, I can remember two different times, the good times, and the totally screwed up present! I am aware I have ranted on this topic before, but, just had to hit it again.
I remember the days of paper bags, and parcels packed with tissue paper, and not styrofoam. I remember glass milk bottles, that you had to shake, because the thick stuff was at the top. I remember only having certain fruits in our Grocery store, because others could not make the long distance travel. I remember meat wrapped in brown paper, once you purchased it, and tied with a string. I remember when every thing in the store in tins came from Canada or the United States. Turkeys were a pretty normal size, they did not resemble a small Volkswagon. I remember cereal that was a treat, and cereal that was breakfast.
I cannot ever remember a single soul with E. Colii or however you spell that. I never heard tell of any recalls. Pet food did not kill pets. Likely there may have been a few with food poisoning, but that was probably because they left something too long, and it went bad. See, stuff had to be used within a certain time period, because...it did not have preservatives. Our apples came with a coating of wax, to protect them, it was simply wax, and if you didn't wash it off, you got a waxy film with the bites of the peel.
Our shelves were not lined with a overwhelming choice, no calorie free , gluten free, nut free. The warning labels, well, in truth, I can't remember any. A tin of soup fed the whole family. A loaf of bread got dry, pretty darn fast, and then was used for things like bread pudding, or crumbs.
Our cases of soft drinks came in cardboard containers, and glass bottles. The beer came in the same packaging.
Yes, I am talking about those days before plastic. The days when Tupperware was the only thing beyond metal, glass or paper. If I recall, we had a tupperware kool-aid jug, and that was about it. Stuff that didn't get finished during a meal was simply put in the fridge covered in Alcan Aluminum foil, or wax paper. We didn't often have left overs, because my Mother had meals down to a science, there was very little waste. Our fridge and cupboards were never stuffed (except when we got the big Co-op order near Christmas), they simply had the essentials in them.
Our garbage never overflowed. In a small town, paper was burned in everyone's backyard, and likely a weiner roast afterwards. Glass was always returned, because enough kids wanted the cash that came with that. I expect about the only thing that went in the garbage was..garbage.
See, I just finished cleaning 39 apartments. In almost every one of those apartments, we found the Plastic bag drawer or cupboard. I had to take all of those and then..place them in yet another plastic bag, in order to haul them out of the building. Many of these apartments had their recycling cupboard or top of cupboard. Yoghurt containers, margarine containers, and cans and cans and plastic bags! The massive amount of recycling was mind blowing. Hey, easy enough to feel good, throwing all this stuff into the cupboard, going to save the eco system.
What is the system doing with all this extra stuff? I see it everywhere, in trees, in the lakes and rivers, floating through the air! This sh*t is not getting recycled. It is certainly not decomposing. Garbage cans are filled to the rim, pull outs along the highways, are surrounded by garbage, because they are stuffed.
I am old enough to remember when plastic bags became the new thing. I remember the issues with paper bags, sometimes they would dissolve on a walk home..yippeee plastic, that stuff would make it all the way home, and then be there forever!! Yes, good, reuse it, but then it stretches, and gets holes in it.
Now animals are paying for this crap that saves the trees. Not a single bird has been killed by a paper bag! No whales have died with their stomach bloated by cardboard. Glass will, at some point return to the sand it is made from, O.K. maybe a few cut feet, but, it is still the old way.
Landfills used to bull doz garbage into the ground, it smelled pretty bad, but, at some point,that stuff would decompose. Now nothing disappears, it grows bigger and bigger. We don't know what to do with it. Every week the garbage man comes along and collects more waste. They haul it away from our homes, but, it is simply moving, so little of it is going back to become compost. We have allowed the "Green" way to become a monster. The recycling system is not capable of handling what the world is using. We are now left with a ton of plastic that is slowly creeping higher and higher, and one day, we will realize all the recycling in the world is not going to get rid of it, it is with us "to Infinity, and beyond".
Yes, I am old, but, I believe the old ways were better. I believe consumers should cut back, and only purchase what they need in regards to food stuff. I believe if someone wants a turkey dinner for 20, they may have to buy 2 turkeys, not one that obviously never walked a step in it's life, because it was grossly obese. I believe we can do without exotic fruits and vegetables unless a plane picks them up in Porshela Bowbea and flies them directly to the grocer. This is all possible, so instead of spraying food with pesticides, and shooting them full of preservatives, we should accept that if we live thousands of miles from the growing area, we may not have the ability to eat this stuff. Hey, my generation survived without lichee nuts!
I truly believe in years to come, we will hear more and more how our use of Plastic is killing not only our environment, but us. I know it is unnatural to put something that is made from an assortment of chemicals on food, that, apparently already has chemicals in it. How can we understand what effect this has on us, when it is actually something new? It hasn't always been in my life, but, what about those who were raised with plastic. All of those with allergies, and weird illnesses, I hear statements about this all the time, Little Phoebe is deathly allergic to anything with peanuts in it! Young Jim can't drink milk.Lactose intolerant, Gluten intolerant...that was never heard when I was growing up. So, we are hearing of all of this, now, what about 20 years from now? Will they suddenly find all of this stuff that was going to save the trees, and be recyclable and better to keep our food fresher, has actually been slowly killing us?
I can smell the plastic, it is disgusting! I hate plastic bags, but, I hate plastic water bottles even more. They fill bag after bag of plastic with plastic. Folks drink from them, and then send them to recycling, feeling all warm and fuzzy..well, there has to come a point where recycling stops keeping up with the constant flow of bottles and bags, we are in a frenzy of waste, because we think recycling is taking care of our dirty business.
Typical present mindset, someone else will clean up our mess. We will continue to blame the past generation for their screw ups, for destroying forests for paper. We will get our bills paperless on our computers. Well folks, the trees will grow again, however, your computers are filled with plastic, and when they stop working, you will simply haul them off to the recycle bin, throw them in, and let someone else try and figure out how to get rid of your garbage. Your electric car batteries will disappear into the recycle depot, and again, you will leave them for someone else to get rid of. Time to wake up, we are making a far bigger mess of our environment now, a mess that, as I see it, will haunt far more generations than any other mess in history!
I am OLD! I have become the grouchy old bag that shakes her finger at anyone younger. That finger is shaking, because I know this is wrong,and I know there is going to be a huge price to pay when folks clue in. I want the old days back, the days I knew what I was eating, and if I didn't want to do "Chemicals" I stayed away from LSD. Now I don't really have much of a choice, the cupboards and fridge have more chemicals than Woodstock! Yep, I am older than Woodstock, and I am shaking my finger furiously!