by Patricia Nicol - £8.99 CCV (Vintage) (2010)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780099521129 | ISBN 10: 0099521121
A clever, colourful, comparative history showing us that, when it comes to being green, resourceful and eco-friendly, our grannies can show us the way...
Recycling, composting, buying locally-sourced food and vintage clothing, checking air miles and carbon footprints – our ever-growing national obsession with being green, healthy and preserving the planet is beginning to affect the way many of us shop, travel and eat every day. After decades of plenty, we are now seeing signs that the good times might not last forever and that change is urgently needed. It would seem that never before have we been in this position of having to impose so many personal (if not government enforced) rules to protect ourselves and the world we live in. But if we cast a glance backwards to the 1940s and 50s it is surprising and enlightening to discover that our grandparents and parents, forced into austerity by the Second World War and its aftermath, were resourceful, thrifty and a rather dazzling shade of green.
In our age of globalisation, climate change, unprecedented consumption and limited resources, the good news is that we do not have to look far back in our own history for a handy lesson in making seismic lifestyle changes. Our grannies can show us the way. They wasted almost nothing; they recycled; they bought locally; they ‘dug for victory’ and grew their own veg. Theirs was not a disposable culture: they made do and mended; they salvaged; they were early anti-consumerists dressed in Utility clothing. They did thrift years before it became a fashion model’s fad: the second-hand shop and the recycling bin were their invention. Their heroic self-sacrifices and the austerity measures that were put into place made a huge difference to this country’s survival – perhaps we should think about this as we face the different, but arguably just as urgent, challenges of this century. Sucking Eggs is a colourful, comparative history, full of insights into the austerity years and the lessons we can learn from them today. It’s a creative look at two very different generations which show amazing similarities in their approaches to preserving their futures and an ever dwindling supply of resources.
(Price & availability last checked: December 2018)
In booklists: Sustainability & Self-Sufficiency, World War II, World War I, British History - 20th Century, In categories: Environment & Animal Rights, History & Biography, Peace & Human Rights, Ireland, Scotland & Wales,