Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Recycling History

As Earth Day approaches people are posting lots of things about recycling, and we know that topic is important all year long. But EarthDay started in 1970 and people have been recycling  - well, forever.

We've probably re-used and recycled things as long as there have been human communities on this planet.

Back in the 1950s milk was delivered to our homes in glass bottles. Empty ones were put out to be picked up, cleaned and re-used.

During WWII tin cans were collected and the metal used to help the war effort.

Babies wore cloth diapers, which were washed, bleached to kill germs, and worn again.

But way, WAY before the 20th century parents were handing down and altering outgrown clothing for younger kids, and using pieces of worn out clothes to make patches in quilts or rags for cleaning. Except for the wealthy, everyone wore clothes until they wore out instead of buying the newer styles every year.

If something made of wood  became unusable, parts of it would be used as firewood for cooking and heating, or to build something else. Pieces of metals and even ceramics were sometimes reused to make new things.

And those are just a few of the ways people used to keep from wasting things.

While milk no longer comes in bottles, there are lots of those old habits we could do today, and some people are doing them.

Can you suggest other ways to help the environment?

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