GREEN

At the cash register of the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own shopping 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 earlier days.”

The cashier responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations. You didn’t have the green thing.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soft drink 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 recycling. 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 in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every shop 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 nappies 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, not a screen the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. 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 post, we used wrapped up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol 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 water from a tap when we were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another country. We accepted that a lot of food was seasonal and didn’t expect that to be trucked in or flown thousands of air miles. We actually cooked food that didn’t come out of a packet, tin or plastic wrap and we could even wash our own vegetables and chop our own salad.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, city people took the tram or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers 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 pizza 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?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smarty pants young person.

Remember:
Don’t make old people mad.
We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to p**s us off.

– Anon

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20 thoughts on “GREEN

  1. So much truth, I was born at the tail end of that change. Still remembering the way things were. I actually had a pack of ink refill for my pens that I brought and I used mostly pencils for writing because It was the least wasteful. It’s true about the milk bottles though, I used to rinse them and reuse them with some home made juice and stuff. Heck, I still remember how much I enjoyed rotary phones before they started making them wireless and slapping them with batteries that were bad for the environment! whew πŸ™‚

    • Well, really we just have to go back to the days of old to be truly green.
      Thanks for your visit. πŸ™‚

      • I agree, To the times when life was not only simpler but we respected nature. πŸ™‚

      • This clever, anonymous article reminds me of the story of the kid boasting about all the new tech his generation had, to which his grandmother answered, ‘We didn’t have them, so we invented them. What is your generation going to do?’

      • True, So True! If it wasn’t for the inventions at the time where would the foundation be for his toys? πŸ˜€

      • ‘Standing on the shoulders of giants’ helps one to see further!

      • It’s a shame truly that the younger generation doesn’t understand this, In time though. I bet they will be where we are now thinking “Why didn’t I think of that’ πŸ˜€

  2. ‘Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smarty pants young person.’

  3. Yes, time is a great teacher (but it would hurt if they are reminded every now and again)! πŸ™‚

  4. Old People! I always get confused now if I am old or not. Since I am not sure, perhaps that means that I am young. Or I just have the innate ability to overlook the obvious. Very good post, thanks for sharing this. Funny and topical at the same time. You are fantastic.

  5. Thank you! I grow so tired of being lectured when we were already doing the green thing – and still doing it. I shall repost as soon as I figure out how to do that! Grin – another form of being green!

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