Sunday, March 13, 2011

Makes you think!

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic
bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to her and
explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

That’s right, they didn’t have the green thing in her day. Back then,
they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the store.
The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and
refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But
they didn’t have the green thing back her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator
in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and
didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two
blocks. But she’s right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the
throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling
machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the
clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters,
not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right, they didn’t have
the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every
room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a screen
the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and
stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for
you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded
up newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut
the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by
working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills
that operate on electricity. But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing
back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup
or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled
pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades
in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade
got dull. But they didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school
or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi
service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of
sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized
gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in
space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But that old lady is right. They didn’t have the green thing back in her

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Your blog confirms something I've suspected for a long time, Joan. I am living in the past. emoticon except for the "computerized gaget" which we try to use responsibly. Here on the farm, we do a lot of composting - great stuff for the gardens & have solar panels to heat water mostly. emoticon
    2505 days ago
  • SBATES63
    I guess they did do the green thing back then. I wish there were more I could do sometimes, but at least here we have a great recycling and composting system run by our town. Very little gets into the landfill.
    2505 days ago
    I like this blog! People used to naturally life a life where they used less and it wasn't expexccted to have as much,. People where were taught to take care of things and share. Saving resources wasn't about being "green" it was about saving money or being stewards of the earth (religious/faith reasons).

    We have recycling in my area, but i tend to reuse things when i can. i also give away or doneate old things that are in good condition instead of throwing it away.
    2506 days ago
    This blog made me smile. I live in South Africa and I recently came home after spending the better part of a year in England. We don't even recycle here as a norm. We just throw our plastic, glass, tin and paper waste in with the normal rubbish and away it goes. In order to recycle, we have to buy our own bins and take them to the nearest recycling depot, which is usually at a school nearby and dispose of these things ourselves. It is such a pain. Or you pay an exorbitant amount for a service to come especially to your house to collect it once a week. It is ridiculous. Being the pro active eco warrior that is needed for us to save this planet - I have petitioned the neighbours to all make use of such a service at a discounted rate from the recycling company.

    Anway. Thank you, this was a beautiful blog.
    2506 days ago
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