In the 50’s and 60’s reusing and recycling…
Back in the day we really reused and recycled…
We would mend our clothes;
Shoes were resoled and reheeled;
Once our clothes and textiles were too worn for repair,
We would tear them into cleaning and polishing cloths;
The umbrella man would come around and fix your umbrella;
A grinder man would come around to sharpen your knives and scissors.
We sorted our refuse on the curb:
Old Metal was collected from the curb by the Scrap man,
Stove ashes were collected from the curb to use on roads,
Newspaper, cardboard, rags were recycled by the Rag man,
Garbage was put out for the pig farmers to slop their pigs.
We had bulk stores for grain;
We used wax paper sandwich bags;
The snack man came around to fill your snack cans;
Your meat was from the butcher and wrapped in paper;
Milk and OJ were delivered in returnable, reusable glass bottles;
Glass soda bottles were returned to the store for 2-5 cents each;
Regional & seasonal produce was sold by Hucksters with horse drawn carts;
The Horseradish man would come to fill your jars with the fresh ground root;
The Peanut man would come around and fill your jars with fresh ground peanut butter, sell fresh roasted peanuts in paper bags, and hot roasted chestnuts in season.
Plastic bread bags were used for everything…
packing shoes when traveling;
transporting wet bathing suits;
double wrapping food in the ice box;
for keeping your feet dry in your boots;
and stuffing into windows crack to keep the winter winds out.
We hung our clothes to dry.
But most of all…
People walked more!