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Remember when you wanted to get a carbonated beverage years ago? Perhaps you call it a soda pop, or a soda, just pop, or a Coke as we call it in the South? Things have sure changed.

Back when I was growing up nothing was in plastic. If you wanted a soda to drink you would get it in a glass bottle. They were very heavy and fairly expensive. We saw them as treats. We didn’t drink them all the time or even every day. You couldn’t reseal them, so you couldn’t take one with you and drink it throughout the day. Because it was glass you had to be fairly careful with it too.

Back then, we didn’t recycle the glass – it got reused. Do you remember playing the game with the Coca-Cola bottles? They would have the names of cities on the bottom of them. Your friends would get bragging rights for whoever had the one from the furthest away. These bottles were washed and reused and sanitized over and over again.

Reusing them takes far less energy than melting down and reforming them. Why do we think that we are so environmentally conscious now with plastic? So many people don’t recycle that plastic bottles are huge burden on landfills. Because they are in plastic, we drink more and more, and thus pollute more and more.

Another benefit of the old way is that we drank a lot less sodas. Sodas are bad for our health. When we wanted something sweet to drink as children we drink Kool-Aid. Kool-Aid with its sugar isn’t the healthiest thing to drink, of course. But we are learning that sugar is better than high fructose corn syrup. And drinking Kool-Aid was better for the environment. It didn’t come in big wasteful bottles. It came in little packets and we added the water. You also had control over how much sugar you added. In general as a child I remember simply drinking water.

So perhaps the old way was in fact better. It cost less to our health, our pockets, and the environment.

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