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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Israel Green Before USA

Today is Earth Day in Oregon. The TV news is talking about carrying bags made of string or canvas. This reminds me.

Israel was green in 1980 when I made aliyah. They were most likely green in 1948 at its rebirth. To shop in a store, one took a colorful pliable shaped plastic basket with you, and not only one. I had at least 3 or 4, and they nested inside each other for easy carrying. There were also string bags you could carry in your purse. There weren't any plastic bags like the ones we have in stores here in Oregon, or even paper bags.

Also, most people did not have cars. We took buses or the sheroot, a long limousine that held about 8 people and was something like a cab. We carried our shopping bags with us. The air was clean, and the sky was an intense blue.

Bread was not wrapped. It was not cut. Bread was stacked on shelves for the taking. Olives were in large vats that you could scoop out with a scooper.

The shuk was an open market where farmers brought their fruits and veggies. You bartered for the price. It was like a game, and there laid all the most beautiful of foods, ready to be taken home. You could buy fruits and veggies in the supermarkets, but it was much more fun to go to the shuks.

I'm not sure if Israel did all this on purpose or if it was because they just didn't have these convenient items, but there it is. We were practicing greening.

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