Dollwood Farms had this cute post a week ago about being green. It was a quote from an e-mail about how the modern generation doesn't feel as though previous generations were "green", and how some may blame the previous generations for modern day problems. There's no telling where the e-mail originated, but it does hold a fair amount of truth. We may not have had the word green in reference to being less wasteful, but we weren't as wasteful in general. At least, not most people. Certainly not us. I know we had gas guzzling cars, but we only had one, and it wasn't driven any more than it had to be. The one TV we owned didn't stay on all the time, in fact, we only had three channels, four on clear days, so it wasn't like there was all that much to watch anyway. Plus your mom was constantly telling you to go outside to play, which didn't bother you so much because it wasn't any cooler in the house - no AC to run two thirds of the year. Toys that made noise did so because they required you to do something to make the noise, like bang a drum, or pound on a pounding block. They didn't make noise on their own, using up tons of batteries every year, or require being plugged in to recharge. Just like the e-mail said, we didn't have plastic bags, we had paper ones that your mom saved and used for everything from making patterns (for everything), to baking apple pies. Everything came in glass, most of which could be returned to wherever you got it from to be washed, sterilized and reused. We had two lamps in the living room, requiring one bulb each, and one overhead light in the dining room that only required one bulb. The living room alone of my current house has, I kid you not, four recessed light fixtures, which require indoor, flood light bulbs, an overhead ceiling fan that takes no less than six (and possibly eight - but we haven't gone up to replace them, so...) of the ceiling fan bulbs, a regular size lamp that requires four bulbs, 1 regular and three small, and a small lamp that requires one, night light size bulb. In my defense, we rarely use more than the recessed lights, which are all on one switch, but still, that's an awful lot of light bulbs for just one room. I dread it when they start blowing out. At any rate, my point is that I agree with her post. We may have had things that didn't use power or resources very efficiently, but we didn't waste nearly as much either. If we could do things as frugally (and I'm not just talking money) as we did back then, using the more energy efficient means we have now, imagine how much better off we'd be.
Hey, I'm as guilty about some of it as others. We don't have 4 or 5 TV's (only 2) and we all have to share a computer, but the TV runs more than it should, I do love the AC and the heat, and I'm pretty fond of most of my appliances. It is something to think about though. Maybe I'll use good old fashioned muscles instead of whipping out my food processor next time I'm in the kitchen.