Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Received in my email

They didn't have the green thing in their day

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.

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 hankerchief, 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.

They cut up their own fruits and vegetables because they didn't have a food processor. 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.

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?
Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la...
Those were the days, oh yes, those were the days.


Anonymous said...

I told mom
who saved bread sacks
so she didn't spend
money on waxed paper,
that going green was
the thing we should do.

And she did all her life.

reanaclaire said...

Yes, those were the good old days.. during my time, we used paper bags and not so much on plastics,,,,

KleinsteMotte said...

They did have the bring your own bag in the rest of the world, just not N.A.
When I would travel to Europe and buy groderies it was expected that I have my own bags and I got caught without on several ocassions. Now I forget here. Darn that memory!

Clytie said...

When I was little, mom and dad went grocery shopping once a month at an outlet store. What they bought was packed into used cardboard boxes (not bags), and that was it. Mom made our bread from scratch, as well as our meals. We grew a huge garden every year and canned or dried the surplus. We reused cans and bottles again and again. Us kids rode the school bus to school(an hour each way for high school), and in summer walked to town (3+ miles) to catch the "berry bus" to go pick produce for $$$ to get school clothes at the thrift store.

Too bad we didn't know much about 'saving the earth' or recycling back then!!! :=}

Beth Niquette said...

Being the eldest of six, I'm told my parents had difficult times--and I'm sure they did. Except I didn't know we were poor. I didn't realize we had it bad.

We had so much fun. I remember those monthly trips to Naps, the old grocery store. I remember every fall Mumsie would can and dry everything she could put her hands on. She made the most delicious meals from the fruit, veggies from the fruit trees and huge garden we always had.

I remember the wonder of sitting in the middle of a tomatoe patch with a salt shaker...eating tomatoes until the ripe red juice ran down our faces.

Sissy and I would pick berries to make money for school clothes. I learned to make the things I bought fit, by taking them in using the sewing machine.

We learned to make ends meet with whatever we found at hand.

Now days it seems like people don't have the creative ability to make things work--to use something made for one thing--and make it fit or work in a different way.

lol We did a lot of that growing up--I'm still doing it today. I hope I've passed that creative way of looking at things, on to our children.

Our bread sacks were layered with socks--they made the best waterproof foot wear and mittens I've ever had.

Terra said...

This post is completely correct. Just think how huge homes are now and how much energy we use to heat and cool them, compared to fifty years ago.

Reader Wil said...

What a great post! And true! I remember I washed diapers too! I had no TV until 1970.I cycled to my work and my husband too. He had to cycle to Rotterdam 15 kms to and back 15 kms. He had a small car but only used when we had to go to my mum, which was an hour's drive.My daughters are both very "green- minded".

Margaret Cloud said...

I really liked these, and the bottom paragraph says it all. I have that record.