Have times changed for the better? by J. Martino

Have times really changed for the better? By: John Martino Several weeks back local business owner Cathy Newton, of Kokomo Glass, and I were talking about conservation efforts provided by all those who hunt Indiana’s numerous wildlife species. “Sportsmen provide the greatest source of funding for our natural resources and always have, where everyone benefits,” I mentioned, to which she thankfully agreed. Later on in the day another conversation ensued with several other friends and another comment was made regarding how conservation and environmental awareness only recently has taken the forefront of importance. This time I agreed, but later learned, in reality I was wrong. Before ending my shift, a colleague, Kathryn Kintner placed something on my desk. “You better read this,” she said, “I think you will find it interesting.” It went something like this. Checking out at the grocery store the young cashier suggested to the elderly lady she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags are harmful to our environment. The elderly lady apologized saying “We didn’t have this “green thing” back in my earlier years.” The young cashier responded “That’s our problem today. “The older generation didn’t think about protecting our environment for future generations.” The older lady politely agreed, then began to explain. “When I was young we returned our milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store then sent them back to the factory to be washed, sterilized and reused over and over again. So technically they were recycled.” “Grocery stores put our groceries in brown, paper bags which were used for many other things. Most memorable were using those bags for book covers for our school books. This was to ensure public property (the books) were not defaced by our scribblings. We were also able to personalize our books on the brown bag covers. And if those paper bags were disposed of improperly, they would decompose in a short amount of time.” “Yes it is sad we didn’t have the green initiative back in our days,” the lady continued. “We walked up stairs because we didn’t have escalators or elevators in every multi-story store, office building or airport.” She went on to explain everyone walked to their destination if the distance wasn’t too great. “No one thought of getting into their 300-horsepower vehicle just to ride to their destination, even if it was just a few blocks away.” She went on to say back in her day all baby diapers were washed. There were no disposable diapers that consume vast amounts of space at landfills and take decades to decompose. Clothes were dried on a line, not energy gobbling machines burning up 220-volts of energy with the push of a button. “So in essence we did use wind and solar power back then,” she added. The older lady politely went on to recall how during her younger years families had only one TV, not HD monitors the size of Montana in every room. “In the kitchen everything was stirred or blended by hand,” she said. “Now there is an electronic gadget for everything.” She continued by describing how items packaged as fragile were wrapped in wadded up newspaper, instead of plastic bubble wrap and Styrofoam. “Exercise was provided through work and there was no such thing as going to health clubs to run on treadmills of every type that operate on vast amounts of electricity.” “It’s a shame we didn’t have the green thing during my youth,” she said apologetically to the young cashier. “Back then we had to drink from fountains or the faucet,” she added. “Now everyone drinks from plastic bottles which are discarded everywhere and takes centuries to decompose.” “It was harder growing up,” the lady continued. “We had to ride our bikes, walk or ride a bus to school or sports instead of turning our moms into a 24-hour traffic service in the family’s $45,000 gas guzzling SUV. “I wish we were as smart as today’s younger people,” the lady told the cashier. We just didn’t know any better back then. Thankfully you kids will make our environment a better place for our future generations.” Tournament results Wayne Nolder and Bob Rose swept last Tuesday evening’s Delphi-Delco team bass tourney with three fish totaling four pounds, 12 ounces. A one pound, 14 ounce fish also gave them the tourney’s “big bass” award. Second were Mike Harrison and Bill Luster with three fish dropping the scales at four pounds, one ounce. Third place went to Kyle Hobbs and Mike Nolder with two bass topping out at three pounds, nine ounces.