Answear to: “Anyone over the age of 35 should read this, as I copied this from a friends status ..”
Answear to Article
I am 59 years old and grew up in Downers Grove, IL, a suburb of Chicago. I find the article interesting because, with a couple of exceptions, that is the way we actually grew up. We weren’t being environmentally conscious back then, but we did live a much simpler life.
Our first lawnmower was the non-powered push type, but it was impractical for our 1/4 acre lot. We never had a “small” TV, but we only had one, a 19″ black and white, which was replaced by a 25″ color set in 1965. Living in the suburbs, we did not have buses to take, but my cousins, who lived in the city, did. When we needed to get some place, we typically rode our bikes, or we walked, sometimes for a few miles.
All of the other items described in the article were accurate. Our parents grew up in the Great Depression and they lived through World War II, so they were very frugal. We changed from our school clothes into our play clothes because we would be wearing them the next day and typically the day after that – often for the whole week. When our mom washed our clothes, the wash water would drain out into the holding sink which was sucked back into the washer for the next load. For years she hung the clothes out to dry. (They had such a wonderful fresh smell.)
As kids we took baths regularly, in fact every Saturday night. We could fill the tub as far as we wanted as long as the water level did not reach above our wrist. If we got really dirty during the week from playing outside, which we did as much as we could, we could only take a sponge bath. At night the family would watch TV together on our single television. We only had 5 channels to watch, so it was a pretty easy choice to go outside and play instead.
We had a single, rotary dial phone in the kitchen, but our parents frowned on us using. We had no air conditioning and for many years, we did not own electric fans. I still turn off lights when I leave a room (and yes those rooms now have cable TVs and cordless phones). As we got older, more things started showing up at home because my parents both worked and so they had more money to buy things. We as kids worked too…paper routes at first, followed by part time and summer jobs.
We started to become environmentally aware in the late 60′s and 70′s because of smog and and water pollution. The gas crises of the 70′s introduced small, more fuel efficient cars. In addition to VW bugs, Toyota Corolas and Coronas became popular.
Other postings point out accurately that we were far from perfect back then, but in the years from the Great Depression to the mid 70′s/early 80′s, with the exception of the gas guzzlers, we did not live wasteful lives and we got by with a lot less and there was a lot less to throw away.