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Tips For Recycling: Values and Environment

How many times have you heard people say that the older generations didn’t care about the environment? Well, perhaps that wasn’t what it was called forty or fifty years ago, but in their day the older generations put far less burden on the earth than we do now. The values inherent in the upbringing of the average American in the early part of the 20th century focused on being frugal and limiting waste, and the end result was to benefit the environment.

The term ‘recycling’ became popular in the seventies. But long before that people were reusing almost everything in their households because they couldn’t just go down to the local Wal-Mart and buy new. Not only were the consumer goods not as easy to obtain, household incomes simply didn’t allow for most people to be wasteful. Everything from clothing to bath water was used more than once. When an animal was slaughtered none of it went to waste. When toys and household items were broken, they were repaired, not replaced. The youngest child in the household would probably be wearing clothing that was worn by all of their older siblings. While that may offend some of our more modern sensibilities, the result was that people produced less waste and had less of an impact on the environment around them.

In the following article, Wendy Gordon explores the values of our parents and grandparents, and the impact that they had on our environment. The lessons of the older generations are ones that we can all learn from today.

Slipping into My Mother’s Shirt and Values | OnEarth Magazine

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