Thursday, March 15, 2007

Use It Up (everyday trash in absentia)

NOTE: Since I'm have used up all my blogger techmentality mojo and can't seem to figure out basics of posting via wordpress, I'm temporarily posting items for everydaytrash here. We'll move 'em over when Leila returns.

Apologies to everydaytrash faithful who thought they need not fear trash withdrawal while Leila ventured to other continents. I will spare you any excuses and just get down to it.

So many efforts are made to look to the future to solve our trash-related challenges that I wanted to take a brief look to the past. Before "Reduce/Reuse/Recycle" became a household mantra (if not yet a real habit), there was World War II and a slew of resource conservation propaganda. Back in the day, there were extensive efforts to encourage individuals to cut back or do without in almost every aspect of everyday life - do you really need to go on that trip? Are you preparing your home for winter so that you use the smallest amount of fuel needed? Suburbanites, have you planted a victory garden on your property so that industrial farmers can sell more of their food to support soldiers overseas?

I can't resist asking the obvious rhetorical question about why no similarly widespread federal initiative exists today. For those who don't want to call what's happening in Iraq a war, (or, reasonably, would prefer not to think of Iraqis as the enemy), there's always the real and universal enemy of global warming to rally against.

In any case, for your historical reading pleasure, here's a great short from Straight Dope at the Chicago Reader, reviewing which WWII efforts were beneficial (most) and which were mostly propaganda designed to boost morale (one or two). The Decatur Daily talks to folks who lived with rationing as everyday practice. More pix from wartime poster propaganda like the above (don't you love how innocently racy the Use It Up poster is?) can be found here (fair warning that plenty of these are far from PC). And, back to the present, San Francisco revitalizes the victory garden for 2007.

1 comment:

everydaytrash said...

Fantastic post, so dense! Thanks for doing this, you're the greatest.