Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fences Are Greener Over Here

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:



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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*.
*remember this?
Also, please note how lovely our town is, on the banks of a river and flanked by forest.

19 comments:

Barbaloot said...

And bonus, they look very difficult to climb so it probly prevents people from trying to steal things.

Susan said...

Wow, I want one of those eco-friendly, practically free fences! So cool, each one! (btw, I'm sooo ready for a treat right now....)

Nathan said...

Fabulous fence post, Lisa. I love your collection of fence shots, too. The green one is my favorite.

Karen E. said...

Great post, I love learning more about Poland.

Carolyn V. said...

Lisa, I always find your post so interesting! Those fences are so beautiful.

Erin said...

Those fences are so colorful, and I love the patterns! Do you have a fence surrounding your yard?

(Should I remember this? I can't remember.)

JustRandi said...

That is so inventive and creative! My boring brown wood fence and I are sorta jealous!

Kazzy said...

There was not one fence there that was not cool! I am impressed. And I wish I were more conservation minded about everyday kinds of things.

Lara said...

They are such cool fences anyway...it makes them just amazing when you know the story behind them!

Kimberly said...

It's a bit shaming to think about how wasteful we are...and I love the look of those fences!

L.T. Elliot said...

You live in a slice of heaven. I'd love to visit you. Wow. And that car? I'd take that any Friday too!

Alison Wonderland said...

So cool! I'd totally take those fences, they're awesome.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

That is really cool.

Ben said...

I'm actually surprised they wouldn't have melted those punch scraps down and reused them. All factories today either send them to their supplier for recycle or melt them down themselves. I guess you could say the factories are more ecological now, but it would be a lie. They do it for the cost savings, of course!

Melissa Bastow said...

Those fences look fancy. I like fancy fences. The economical thing, just a sidenote. Fancy, first.

Heidi said...

I love the fences! Boo to their history! I recently read in Time magazine that Europe is way more green than the U.S. because they had at least a decade of shortages after WWII while the U.S. enjoyed an instant economic boom of great abundance. There were simply more people in Europe raising children to be frugal there than in the U.S. It's definitely a problem.

Melanie Jacobson said...

Amazing! I love it!

Moody said...

I love them! Heck they could ship them over here and make a mint off of us!

AndyPandyJackaDandy said...

I love those fences. I think you should redo this post about how you love being surrounded by the artsy Poles.