One thing I love about Poland is how ecological people are. There's not so much of the "Save the World" craze, but people just do things that make sense.
This is especially true of the older generations, part of which surely has to do with having learned to conserve during the dark years of communism. Greg's parents still have baby food jars that they use as containers from when David was a baby. That's over eight years ago. The jars are fine, so why not use them? People bring their old plastic bags to the grocery store when they shop. Plastic bottles are made into spinning scarecrow thingies for gardens. The same clothes are worn around the house until they literally fall apart.
And packaging makes sense here. There is a lot of plastic, but it is thin. I am regularly outraged (though mildly) when I visit the states and see how things are packaged with plastic thick enough that it can only be meant to protect the food item from being repeatedly whacked with a hammer. Which could happen, of course, so maybe I shouldn't complain. . .
Reusing is economical and ecological, of course. Take, for example, fences in our neighborhood. There are all kinds of fences; wrought iron, chain-link, wood etc. but there are an alarming number of fences that look like these:
Can you guess what they are? Well I'll tell you.
Our town has what is now a huge "economic zone" of factories belonging to various companies that get some tax breaks or something. It is also where Greg works. On the map below you can see "the Zone". It's the white blob.
Here it is closer up.
Back in the day (the same "day" that caused people to become so conservative, conservatory and conservationalizing with their things) they made airplanes there. For the commies. Where's your nearest communist airplane factory? (In the factory Greg works they no longer make MiG fighter jets but now make these, which I personally would take over a fighter jet any day of the week. Especially Friday. Preferably this coming Friday.)
So around here there was a lot of metalwork going on. Airplane parts were cut out of large sheets of metal. What was left over was put in the scrap pile. Or. . . it wasn't. See where I'm going with this?
So those sheets of metal made for lovely, decorative and original fences. Sheets of all sizes were welded together, often with metal rings or circles to connect them. Stick them in a frame made of pipe, paint them white, green or brown and you have yourself a fence. A free one.
It's pretty crazy to walk down the street around here and realize that the pieces cut out from all those fences are lying in airplane graveyards all over the former communist block.
So yay for being ecological and hooray for being surrounded by history. It may be a dark history, but I still love how rich this country is in it and how much of that history surrounds me*.
Also, please note how lovely our town is, on the banks of a river and flanked by forest.