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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, they returned their 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 they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's 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 was 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. They shared bedrooms, too - you'd get three to five kids in one room, where they kept their clothes and their toys in one box - not all over the house in four rooms, every kid to their own room, including the baby. We slept in the large dresser drawer until our folks could afford a crib.

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 handkerchief, 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 a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Used it for Christmas wrap, too, along with brown paper bags.

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 their writing 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 or a bus 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 isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back then?

But we did have the brown thing - paper bags which were recycled material that they have practically made us quit using. Funny how now, thinking back, our old brown thing was a good thing, and the new generation made us use the plastic bags with the constant breaking handles and tearing at the bottom, and now they want us to use the green thing that you must PURCHASE and it lasts 3 or 4 times!
Progress  - our most important product.
Time to get back to the brown thing.
~Author Unknown~


  1. You're right. It is the current generations, not the previous ones, that are ruining our planet. We don't till the earth, or can, or walk, or even really, talk to each other much. It's sad....

  2. I totally agree with you. Bring back the past. That's like how idiotic is our government...the only way that people are going to get back to work is bring back our jobs from outside the country. Give corporations tax incentives to bring the workforce back to the US and build our economy back up. Bring back the past.

  3. AMEN! Everything was in walking distance . . . neighborhoods where neighbors knew how to be neighbors.!

    Great Post