Waste Free Week – How did our Grandparents cope?

I was taking to my mum yesterday about the Waste Free Week challenge and she expressed her disappointment in how much things had changed in the last 50 years.

She told me a story about how surprised one of her sister-in-laws was when from California back in the 50s that our meat wasn’t shrink wrapped at the butchers. Mum thought this was the first time she became aware of the packaging issue.

She said nana would take a basket and walk down to the shops to get her groceries every day. What didn’t go in to the basket went into empty flour sacks (yesteryear’s reusable shopping bags) to be carried home. Mum has carried on these sorts of traditions and looks forward to the day when they bring back paper shopping bags.

You see my mum was the youngest of 13 and was born during the depression. My nana had the art of reuse down to a fine art because in those days quality was everything so everything lasted. There also wasn’t much money to go around so throwing anything out just seemed unimaginable.

It was only after WWII that the theory of planned obsolescence really took hold, and it’s seems to me that it has only been since the end of the war that we have had a real problem with non-organic waste. It really makes me think where we are headed and what we are leaving for our grandkids to deal with. I hope it does the same for you.

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