Which generation was “greener”?
I remember the milkman delivering the bottles, and taking them back to be recycled.
Buying soda in returnable bottles.
No plastic cups, silverware or plates.
But we had leaded gas, aluminum foiled frozen dinners and storage, ineffiecient everything. Daily newspapers etc.
Today, everything mech. or tech. is super efficient.
The world buys everything individually wrapped in plastic from Twinkies to the water we drink in multitudes of sizes and flavors.
Our mailboxes are stuffed and porches are littered with probably more paper than the average person years ago.
The air may be less polluted from engines, but what about the manufacturing of all the non degradable items that the vast majority uses today.
I know my pea brain is missing a lot in this post, but I start thinking that the progress in the Green movement seems to be a wash compared to 50 yrs ago.
It would be "funny" if it wasn't so damned gut wrenching. There are people that think we can just colonize Mars and everything will be good.
Or the 'Goldilocks Galaxies" that contain billions of planets. Most people don't have a clue if a light year is time or a distance.
Hey, the government has to fix the problem, it's their job not mine.
Until the EPA is totally dismantled, the water and air are much cleaner than when I was growing up in Joliet, south of Chicago. Joliet is in a valley and approaching from the south you could barely see the buildings through the haze from factory smoke. The canal that runs through the city had a layer of grease and smelled horrible. The haze is gone (of course so are many of the factories) and there are actually fish in the canal.
Much of what has been mentioned about recycling and using resources to the maximum has to do with the kitchen. Here is another one: I first remember brewing coffee on the stove, then there was the electric percolator on the counter, then Mr. Coffee, and now K cups. With each new convenience, we are getting less coffee out of the grounds and creating more waste.
My mom was the original green queen. We had to open our Xmas gift without damaging the paper too much because it got folded and reused. We even reused the tinsel on our Xmas tree. You had to blow out birthday candles quickly because, guess what, they were reused too. You also had to write on BOTH sides of your notebook paper. Don’t even get started in hand me down clothes.
I laugh at it now, but then catch myself tearing a paper towel in half for a small mess instead of wasting a full sheet.
Yeah, there was much less waste when I was a child. Most families around me had only one car. We used a paper grocery bag for garbage, and it took us (family of 5) a week to fill it up. We saved and reused everything. There are green movements today, because there is really a need for it. There is just so much waste.
Just this morning, a friend and I were talking about milk delivery. Grocery delivery was also fairly common back in the day, too. I remember my grandmother having a standing order at the A&P. They also delivered.
Not everything that "used to be" was bad, and lots of what is considered "new" now, isn't.
The hypocrisy of our our governmental codes, rules etc. is overwhelming. Also each individual generally will choose what "green" standard of living is important to them possibly making their neighbors standards a issue or non-issue. Scientific studies are manipulated to further agendas and ultimately there is no absolute.
Yes I grew up in the erra you described. If you do some research on the history of recycling you will see it was driven by profits for a collective few.
Here in the UK, the milkman with the milk in glass bottles is making a comeback - they've reported a big upturn in trade with many new customers, even though their milk costs three or four times what milk costs in the supermarket. Meanwhile, a new law is forcing several types of commercial premises to provide water for free to the public so that people will refill plastic bottles instead of just buying a new one and throwing it away. If we take what's good now and combine it with what was good in the past, there may still be hope.
All of what you say above is true. However, I also remember seeing the river burning in Cleveland, the Great Lakes so polluted that you didn't dare eat the fish that came out of them. I remember smelling bus fumes and seeing the orange streaks in the sky from the steel mills. That was a time when the smog was so thick you couldn't see two miles away on the clearest of the days. Now on a clear day the air doesn't smell You Can See For Miles and Miles the rivers and lakes have far less pollution. Car emissions are lower. Honestly it is only where government has forced change that there has been changes. Unfortunately, we will do what is cheapest and most convenient regardless of the impact on the government until forced to do otherwise