Re-using: old or new fashion?

I remember once a question to a representative of the English older generation - what is the reason for the success of his married life. Why did he manage to live in a marriage of 60 years. He answered in a seemingly simple manner: "Once upon a time you didn't throw things away but repaired them". There was a very deep thought in that. He was a representative of the war generation in which the consumption of raw materials was limited. Where all forms of attempts to reduce the demand for literally everything were rewarded. At a time when collecting cans for reuse was considered a national cause, and giving up nylon tights a sacrifice for the good of the country, fixing everything was the key. These attitudes were obviously not ecologically motivated.

However, it is indicative of a certain attitude, which is probably also understood by the generation that has experienced our history. While in the West the economic boom took place quite quickly and the era of consumerism dawned, in our part of the world we had to manage as we knew how. This taught us to be frugal and resourceful. Several generations in our country grew up this way... Now I think you will look at our grandparents' generation in a different way.

I remember my first meeting with a group of environmentalists from the West. They came to our country to take part in a rally. The idea of this rally was, of course, ecological and it was about the lowest limit of CO2 emissions. I remember their discussions and accusations about how it is possible to promote in our country an ecological railroad transport, when almost all the electricity in our country is produced from coal. We were surprised by their simple daily choices. Why did they prefer rice to porridge? Why did they buy canned beans instead of shelled beans in bulk? It was obvious to us living in the country at the time that this rice had to travel a long way to reach us from far away. It does, after all, generate a carbon footprint. Not to mention the methane emissions from the halves themselves. We didn't understand this approach. At that time there was a UN slogan for ecology: Think globally, act locally. And we understood ecology as the sum of such small everyday decisions. Decisions that are made knowing the consequences of individual choices. This of course requires knowledge...

It has been some time since the fashion for not littering appeared. Reusing various unnecessary objects is noble. But isn't knowledge being replaced by fashion and shallow slogans? What puzzles me most is the attempt to integrate veganism into ecology. As much as I understand the ethical arguments of don't kill. What I don't understand is the situation where vegans have cats or dogs. Just because you humans won't eat meat doesn't mean your cat or dog can't either. Trying to get them to eat a meatless diet is playing with their physiology, especially in the case of cats, it can end badly. Everybody loves those: cows, pigs, rabbits, ducks, and somehow they don't have such animals at home. If you want to live according to the idea of zero waste, have a hamster or a guinea pig. I remember having them myself for several years. There was always something from the kitchen that could be thrown away and was good for the animals to eat anyway. They also have fur and live. I'm not saying that you can't combine owning a cat or a dog with being eco-friendly. I'm just saying that if someone decides to go vegan because of CO2, they need to be aware of it. He needs to check the contents of his closet including his shoes because leather is everywhere. As you can see, the choice is difficult... It may turn out that the evil hunter who eats that nasty meat from the hunt has less of an ecological impact than many a vege blogger who flies around the world…

Green goblin (author)

Karolina Pruchniewicz (editor) with cooperation with we&waste

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