I need to come clean and be completely honest: I haven’t fully jumped on the “green” bandwagon. I love nature, spent tons of time in the woods, did a lot of camping out, love to fish and hunt, love the mountains and the ocean….I think I can accurately say that I love nature and Mother Earth. But sometimes, I am a bit unsure about all of the new age “green” living and “green” commercial product that are taking over the nation. I can’t say I’m a fan of the new light and am not a fan of Sheryl Crow’s crusade for us all to only use one piece of toilet paper…. for what? To make your face glasses easier to look through? I do not believe she was actually referring to cleaning reading glasses, I have my idea of what she was referring to, but I will leave that to others to determine.
Another case in point, the new “water saver” washers…. ugh. After two years of a smelly washer, long wash cycles, cleaning it thoroughly with a commercial product weekly, clothes that were not that shiny and clean, and a lot of complaining from my dear sweet husband who does the clothes washing, I sold our top of the line Samsung steam machines for a fifteen hundred dollar loss on Craig’s List and said good riddance! We replaced it with a good old fashioned Maytag, that does a way awesome job! So what if it isn’t as “water efficient” as all those new green washing machines? If I’m not happy, let’s just say nobody is happy! Only problem is, I can’t find a machine that folds and puts the clothes up!!! Do they make a “green” machine that will do that? That could get me on board for “green”!! So I tried to be green in that area, but it just didn’t work out.
To me, a lot of the “green” bandwagon is just a way for people to “feel good” about their actions; however, the ends may not justify the means. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but case in point is yearly on Earth Day, when everyone stops using the lights in their house for a couple hours or so. Sacrificing this first world luxury to give millions of earth lovers a drug high, knowing that that one hour has helped the earth, saved a lot of energy and made all those people feel so good about their act of kindness. There’s just 1 issue: when we all turn the lights back on to full power after that short time, it uses twice as much power as what was saved!!!!
Or like ethanol…. when to the best I can determine, by the time corn is planted, watered, sprayed with pesticides, fertilized that runs into rivers, harvested, processed and shipped to market, it costs more to make than it will ever save!!! (But it SOUNDS so good!) Plus, I just heard where in Indonesia, they are producing biofuel from Palm trees. It all sounds great in theory, correct? Issue is, how many acres of palms will be destroyed to save a few miles per gallon and reduce the carbon footprint? Sounds like the ends don’t justify the means to me, but what do I know? I better quiet myself before I get all political on you!
But, there is one “green industry” that’s been around for about 300 years and is still going strong. In my opinion, it’s the original “recycling business” if you will, and the best “green” business in the world!!! The antique business!!!! It doesn’t consume a lot of energy, saves a tree or three, doesn’t add to the pollution, puts old matter to good use, does not require chemical finishes, is extremely functional, has intrinsic value, never goes to a landfill, has no carbon footprint, passes from generation to generation, has asthetic beauty, creates jobs and spurs the economy!
Every time someone buys an antique, they are “going green!” I think I will contact Al Gore and get him to do a documentary on “green antiques”…. it could be called, “A Convenient Truth”. I don’t think it would even have to be doctored to win an Oscar!!! Sorry, getting political again, better shut up. (Plus, since he invented the internet, I better not pick on him).
Seriously, the antique business really is a “green” business and was “green before “green” was cool; folks just didn’t realize it! If you think about it, how many products are out there that can be “recycled” for 300 years and look and function as good as they did when they were new? Plus, besides fine wine, (and my lovely wife), how many things get better with age? (She tells me all the time she’s getting older, I just tell her it’s a beautiful “patina!”). Think of some of the things I mentioned earlier. Utilizing antiques instead of new furniture, helps save the rain forest. It’s amazing the quantity of timber that is cleared yearly in places like Indonesia, the Phillipines and South America for creating furniture! Plus, think about the fuel it takes to haul timber, power to mill it and ship it. The majority of new furniture has lacquer finishes; what happens to the spent chemicals? Where do the lacquer fumes go? It takes tons of cardboard to pack it and millions of gallons of fuel to ship and transport it. Plus, it’s mostly made in Asia now and the quality sucks!
So, the business of antiques in my opinion is “the ultimate green business.” So if you’re following this blog, start doing your portion to “go green” and save the earth…. buy used stuff! I promise you this is a habit you’ll feel good about, will help save the planet and you can know you’re also assisting your fellow man. (yes, guys like me!)
P.S. I forgot to mention the other great aspect of “going green” by buying antiques….you can also pay with “green”. That’s my favorite part! Gotta love it!