A Musical Number for Inspiration!
There’s an old song that keeps popping up in my mind when I write these little eco tips. It’s from a musical called “The Pajama Game” that I probably saw once on television as a child, and never since. The movie starred Doris Day as a worker in a pajama factory, and John Raitt as a corporate lackey. Doris and her colleagues wanted a small raise, but John was trying to prevent it. I think. Anyway, the union came up with a catchy song to demonstrate their position. It’s called “Seven and a Half Cents,” and the lyrics go a little something exactly like this:
Seven and a half cents doesn’t mean a heck of a lot.
Seven and a half cents doesn’t mean a thing.
But give it to me every hour, forty hours every week,
That’s enough to have me living like a king.
I figured it out!
And with a pencil and a pad, the workers do figure it out. Five years equals $852.74, with some overtime. As the song then explains,
That’s enough for me to get
An automatic washing machine,
A year’s supply of gasoline,
Carpeting for the living room,
A vacuum instead of a blasted broom,
Not to mention a forty-inch television set!
Accounting for inflation, that amount today would be $86,663.97. (I figured it out! With an online inflation calculator!) Not only are unions spunky and clever, they make mathematical equations fun. I really have to watch that movie again.
Anyway, it keeps running around my brain while I write about ways to save a gallon of water here or a gallon of gas there, because even though I’m writing about seemingly negligible savings to earth and wallet, they do add up.
I remember way back in the day when I used to get facials at a fancy salon, in the benighted hopes of attaining perfect, or rather less imperfect, skin. Those hopes were raised even higher by salon products that were practically guaranteed to deliver the Fountain of Youth in a tube. I always balked at the price, something like a million dollars an ounce. The two lovely, ageless owners of the salon would soothe me, speaking in vaguely Italian-Countess accents, ‘Oh, but they last forever, especially if you cut them open when you think you are done.’ I didn’t understand. They explained that one should cut the bottom of the tube to get another week of use out of the magical product.
Well if two fabulous demi-royals who catered to movie stars were to suggest it, who was I to naysay? And once I started doing that, I found I could cut the tubes of every other product and do likewise. It can get a bit messy, but for another week of use, it’s worth it. That’s another week kept from the landfill and a new purchase. Cosmetics, toothpaste, moisturizer, if it’s in a tube I cut the crimp and think of the countesses.
And before I even get out the scissors, I try to use less on the way there.
Here’s a link that points out how we pretty much overuse everything, for no good reason. See where you can save enough for a color TV! The Simple Dollar – The Cost of Overuse
And here’s the Pajama Game song – 7 1/2 Cents, courtesy of however long is lasts up on You Tube.
Sorry if it gets stuck in your head.