Make Good Use of Bad Rubbish

One of the best parts of spending time with families is hanging out with the kids. This is how I had my first introduction to The Wombles the other day. In addition to being ahead of its time as a high-quality stop motion animation series, this mid-1970s TV show promoted a strong reuse and recycling message. (Although, that said, one of Val’s friends remarked that she thought the show might have also encouraged an entire generation of children to leave ostensibly useful bits of trash behind in the real-life Wimbledon Common burrows- a.k.a. Womble-land — in an attempt to help this fuzzy underclass in their efforts at creative reuse.)

Flash-forward to last night, when every few minutes a government-sponsored advertisement would appear on television asking all families in the UK to reduce both energy consumption and waste by 20%. I couldn’t imagine something like this playing in the red states of America. As a socialist country, the UK (and most of Europe) is used to taking lifestyle cues from government. And as a nation ravaged by World War II, Britons are used to getting behind rationing and other forms of conservation. Their survival depended on it. In fact, even as rationing was seen as a heroic war effort, a greener-than-thou attitude has sprung up as a seemingly ubiquitous attitude in the UK, with green services galore, not to mention this two-seat electric car.
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