Many of you got this via an email, but thought it was so great, I thought I would share it again.
- In 1960, each person in the US only generated 2.68 pounds of waste.
- In 1970, the figure was 3.25.
- However, Americans’ recycling has improved since 2000, when the average American generated 4.65 lbs of waste per day, and only 29% was recycled.
- in 1980, 89% of Americans’ waste went to a landfill, while only 54% met that fate in 2008
In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to her and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.
- Plastic bags were invented in 1950 and the early days plastic bags were used for storing sandwiches. The next step, was plastic bags were used to replace paper dry cleaning bags. In 1973 plastic bags were used to replace brown paper bags in grocery stores (Source) The first paper bag was invented in 1852. (Source)
That’s right, they didn’t have the green thing in her day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But they didn’t have the green thing back her day.
- The first milk carton was invented in 1906 but didn’t get perfected until around 1915 (Source)
- I used to make money collecting glass bottles for recycling. That was my mad money!
In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks. But she’s right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.
- In 1958 the average family owned 1 car. Today the 2-3 car family is a norm, people don’t bike or walk to work.
Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts “wind and solar power” really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.
- Today, line drying is restricted by many homeowner associations and even some cities.
- Dryers are the 2nd biggest energy user in an household.
- Dryers are found in 92% of all households today.
- The right to dry movement, heralded by Project Laundry List, has been campaigning since 1997 to change Americans negative attitudes towards clotheslines and helped create a National Hanging Out Day, held every year on April 19th. Some states, including Florida, Utah and Maine, have started lifting the ban on line drying
- Over 48 Million Diapers are thrown out each day. The US throws out 16 Billion diapers per year
Back then, they had one radio and maybe a TV, in the house not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded up newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
- The Average American owns 3 TV’s. My mother owns 6 TV’s, one for every room in the house.
- Over 20,000 TV’s are thrown out every day.
- Over 150,000 Tons of Packaging are thrown out each day.
Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.
- Lets now forget Leaf Blowers, Weed Wackers. Think of how much money and energy could be saved if everyone did their lawncare by themselves and by hand!
They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But they didn’t have the green thing back then.
- The average American office worker uses about 500 disposable cups every year.
- Glass food and drink containers made up 4% of all the waste generated in 2008. Only 28% were recycled.
- 6 Billion Pens are thrown away every year
- 2,000,000,000 razor blades are thrown away every year
Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint. But that old lady is right. They didn’t have the green thing back in her day.