See All Our Posters from the Past That Have Lessons for the Present

11 Great Posters from When We Used to Care About Wasting Food

It started with 11 Great Posters from When We Used to Care About Wasting Food, after an NRDC switchboard post on food waste. I have been collecting images of old posters for a couple of years, but had never categorized them this way, so took the opportunity to do a slideshow just on waste: More on TreeHugger It started a whole series.

Hennepin collection/Public Domain


13 Great Posters on Preserving Food, When It Was Life or Death

Given the season, the next set encouraged canning and preserving. It has become a popular hobby and a great way to save money, but during World War I and II it was a critical part of the war effort. Twenty million American families had victory gardens, and when autumn came, much of that had to be preserved. More in TreeHugger

American Legion Collection/Public Domain

13 Great Posters From When Driving Was Considered To Be Almost A War Crime

This is a well-known classic now, but is just one of many, asking the question that still holds true, Should brave men die so you can drive? More in TreeHugger

Solid Fuels Administration/Public Domain

12 Great Posters From When Turning Down The Thermostat and Preparing For Winter Was a Patriotic Act

Turning down the thermostat and being careful with fuel use is a good idea any time, but in World War II it was a matter of life and death. Most of the recommendations in this poster still make sense: Winterizing your home, including insulating walls and ceilings, installing storm doors and windows and weatherstripping. Checking and cleaning your furnace can save a lot of energy, too. More in TreeHugger

American Legion Collection/Public Domain

A Binder Full of Women: 14 Posters of Women Who Worked For the War Effort

This one was an unscheduled addition to the slideshows, after Mitt Romney's comment about having a "binder full of women" but not finding many qualified to work for him. The meme went wild, so we had to do a slideshow demonstrating that women could do a whole lot. They weren't always accepted and they didn't get to keep the jobs when the men returned from fighting, but they could do it and did. More in TreeHugger

Hennepin collection/Public Domain

Recycling for Victory! 18 Great Posters From When Every Little Bit of Scrap Made a Difference

YIKES! That's dire. But it is the weirdest of the calls to reduce waste and recycle. It can make a big difference; many raw materials had to be imported by sea, which was dangerous; others needed a lot of energy that could be used for other things. More in TreeHugger

Keep Calm/Public Domain

Keep Calm and Carry On: 15 Motivational Posters From The Past That Are Just As Relevant Today

And last but not least, when Superstorm Sandy rolled in, I thought of all the motivators that kept people working, that tried to give a bit of comfort. I liked Gary Paudler's response to commenters who wondered why I think these are relevant in what they promoted:

Thrift, hard work, creativity, effort for the community, support of common, as opposed to purely individual goals. Conservation of resources and instilling the notion that everybody plays an important role.

More in TreeHugger. I still have a pile of posters about gardening, but they will have to wait for the spring.

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