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Too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my day".

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations." She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books. But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right: we didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then,we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right: we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we 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 handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana .. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right: we didn't have the green thing back then.

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

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we 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 burger joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

You can send this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from smartass young people.

We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to tick us off.
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    2030 days ago
    2030 days ago
  • DALID414
    I'm considered young (depending on who you ask), but even I miss the 'good old days', when I could go to the movie theatre and not have to worry about EVERYONES cell phone going off during the movie!!
    2030 days ago
  • 81MSMITH1
    This is a great blog. The planet would probably be a much happier place if we went back to the way things were. That clerk was increadibly rude and unaware.
    2030 days ago
    I remember those days. In NZ (New Zealand)we went to the dairy (corner shop) and got 1/2 lb butter that was cut from a big piece and put in brown paper and also got our sugar weighed out and bagged.

    Oh I forgot my brothers used to take the old newspapers to the fish and chip shop and they weighed it and paid about 2 cents a lb and wrapped the fish in white paper then the newspaper around it . Nothing beats fish and chips in the paper.

    good times

    Ah the young they'll be old one day and what will their young think of them?
    2030 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/2/2012 5:45:43 AM
    i really loved this and so true brought back memories.i still dry my clothes on a washing line,we have 1 tv and 1 computer that is working and apart from my older kid who has a school bus the other kids walk ,go by bike or roller or like now i will pull them with the sleigh.even though i occasionally buy a plastic bag i will reuse forgot one .we had compost heaps and our food wasn´t sprayed with all the chemicals and hormones etc in foods today.genetics was to do with your family genes and nothing to do with food brought from the store.i know which time i perferr.i also wash the dishes by for´s hoping it becomes a popular blog award so everyone can read it.
    2031 days ago
    Love it ......Love it.

    I lived in that era or (through) it and agree it was so much better then. The best was reusing bottles of all sorts. Sometimes you might get a few cents back; you could buy candy and treats with that.

    Items in glass containers get and stay colder than tin cans. emoticon emoticon
    2031 days ago
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