The Throwaway Generation
We never had rubbish collections at Knowle Cottage. There are two reasons for this, the first is that the council didn’t provide them and the second is there would have been nothing for them to collect.
When I see all the huge wheelie bins and piles of plastic sacks that litter the pavements on ‘bin day,’ I cannot work out why we need to dispose of so much.
I think that the supermarkets are to blame. Why in Gods name are cucumbers wrapped in plastic? Lettuces and even carrots in plastic bags? There is no need for this level of packaging on food. Even potatoes come in plastic bags – it’s madness. Meat from the supermarket is in huge plastic trays and I am convinced that it’s this packaging and the use of disposable nappies (Ed note: diapers) that causes so much rubbish.
We had nothing to throw away. Old clothes were passed on until there was no wear left in them and at that point they would become patches for other clothes or they would be turned into rugs.
Food leftovers became another meal and anything that for whatever reason was not fit for humans ended up fed to chickens or pigs.
Broken furniture was repaired, turned into something else or became firewood.
Everything had alternate uses and, as most of what we used was of a natural origin, any scraps with no other uses would end up on the compost heap.
I know that plastics in some form or another has made life easier, my grandson tells me that without plastic, modern washing machines would not exist; perish the thought, I love washing machines. You have to ask though, does it have to be such a big part of our lives?
Making baby toys out of it that can be scrubbed and cleaned is great. Wrapping a leg of lamb in it, to me, is not so great. I have seen that there are massive ‘islands’ of plastic in some oceans, and that birds and sea creatures are dying because it chokes them. Disrupting the food supply is never a good idea if you ask me, and therein lies the rub. Me and you are never asked, are we? The public are never consulted about buying lettuce that has sweat in a plastic bag and probably won’t last two days because of it.
I don’t want the chemicals from the plastic in my meat or veg. I don’t want it to get inside me. It can’t be a coincidence that there are so many cancers these days. I am convinced that it’s lifestyle that is behind the massive amount of cancer that seems to be around now.
Of course, it has always been there; but all the plastic, the rubbish, the additives and chemicals must have had an effect on us humans. You cannot pump a natural thing like a person full of un-natural things like chemicals and not expect it to have an effect.
We are moving away from nature at an alarming rate; just look at the amount of rubbish and you will see what I mean. All the councils and the governments talk about climate change and recycling. It would be better if there wasn’t so much to recycle in the first place don’t you think?
Let’s get back to food that is presented in its natural state, that would get rid of the need to recycle all the bags, cling film (Ed note: stretch wrap) and plastic trays.
Children should be taught about reusing wood and clothes in schools, they need to be taught about real cooking and the use of leftovers. Now ordinarily, I would say that it’s a parents job to teach their children these things… but most of the parents have no clue either.
We skipped a generation when the good times were rolling. When life got easier due to mass production of everything, we forgot there would be a price to pay; there was a total lack of foresight on the problems a throwaway society creates.
We need to get back to basics. Children are the next generation of parents and if we get it right with the kids, then those habits will be passed on, just like they used to be.
My family are not immune. My great-grandson is on his fourth mobile phone; the others still worked but he had to have the latest thing. Hundreds of pounds for each phone. Madness. He is 15 and not working, he’s still at school. Who do I blame? His parents, that’s who. They are teaching him nothing about values and certainly nothing about need.
Oh my, that was a bit of a rant wasn’t it? I will understand completely if this one doesn’t end up on the computer. (Ed. note: website).
I meant to ask, how are your chickens doing? I love chickens, especially with roast potatoes and veg, ha ha ha. (Ed note: need to teach Granny LOL)
Well, time to go. That bloody nurse is coming over again. If one more person tries to insist I have the flu injection, I am going to hit them. It’s my choice. What makes it worse is they always speak LOUD and s l o w, like you’re a deaf imbecile just because you are more mature than the average.
Right, better go and get ready for the argument. You have a lovely day dear.
Granny Spear was born in a small cottage in Devon, Southern England in 1925. Married to farm labourer Ernest, she raised her family in the heart of the countryside without any of the amenities we rely on today. Using skills passed down from her mother, who had learned those same skills from her mother, she not only survived but positively thrived living a self-sufficient, off grid lifestyle. Outliving her husband, one of her children and two of her grandchildren she stayed in the cottage until 2003 when a serious fall saw her hospitalized. She now lives with her daughter just four miles from her old home. For her 89th birthday her grandchildren and great grandchildren brought her an iPad, which she instantly rejected until they showed her Angry Birds…After much persuasion she has agreed to share some of her knowledge with us about what she calls the ‘old days’
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