My Green Journey - The Beginning (1970 Something)

Way back in 1970 something, in a world of flared fashion, glam rockers, punk rockers and even heavy metal rockers. Life seemed so much simpler. (Rose-tinted glasses)?

I grew up on a mining estate, built for miners and their families. They came from all over the UK to work at two new collieries.

A mixture of people, bringing their traditions and creating a great community. Everyone knew each other, and we’d play outside for hours. When the street lights came on, it was time to go home. 

Of course, there were chores to be done before fun, but there was one chore in particular that all the kids’ wanted to do… Pop bottles!

Every day, in every house, the question out of every child’s mouth was, “Can I take the pop bottles back?” A negative answer brought disappointment, sometimes followed by, “and don’t drink all the pop!” Disappointment, twice.

A simple, yes, to that question brought a rush of excitement, elation and a sudden burst of energy to run to the “top shop.”

Having washed my two, empty pop bottles and clutching them tightly, (to smash one now would be a disaster), I handed my precious cargo over to the shopkeeper. And in return he gave me a whole ten pence piece!

A glorious transaction, a whopping 20% of my weekly pocket money. And for those unlucky kids who didn’t make it to the shop during the week, the beep of the pop man’s van meant that Friday was a guaranteed payday, thanks to pop bottles.

And so my green journey had begun without me even realising.

The recycling of pop bottles had been a pleasure and a treat for me, and now that I see the number of plastic bottles today, I realise that it was a pleasure and a delight for the planet too. (Rose-tinted glasses)?

By Deborah Moore

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