Wednesday, July 27, 2011


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Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 10:01:13 AM by Arrowhead1952

Sent with nostalgia...

The Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags 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. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

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.

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 the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old 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 a wadded up old newspaper 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 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 smartass young person.


Alain said...

Excellent post and spot on. May I add being one of the older folks that we used paper bags, not plastic ones. When the toaster or just about anything broke, it was repairable whereas now it is either impossible to get it repaired or cheaper to throw it away.

fernstalbert said...

I would have taken the little punk's name and reported her to the store manager - then if there was no apology - inform all my senior friends and family that this store has a policy of harassing senior citizens. Who is that "child" to lecture someone on their personal shopping choices. Do not put up with this stuff from the young and uninformed greenies. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

If it had been me, I would have asked the young twit how many cell phones he had owned so far in his life and what does he do to dispose of the "old outdated" ones. Regarding the TVs, I would have asked how many there are in his house. We still have only one.

I am also turned off by the one hour a year Earth Day crap when the little greenies turn off all electricity and then want to go after neighbours who don't. That one day a year, like confession in Catholic churches, seem to give them absolution for everything else they do all year. And also the right to feel superior to the old ones like us who are supposedly not green

maryT said...

Sock and jeans were mended, buttons and hooks and eyes were removed from worn out clothing. Then a lot of that clothing was made into rugs or quilts. My g/mother had the best assortments of buttons in many jars. Sweaters that got too small were unravelled and reknitted into mits or socks. And a lot of us had one coal stove that was used for cooking, heating the house, and remember the resavoir for heating water. Not these green things have to have an appliance for every one of those things.
If a clerk says that to me I would tell him/her, sorry, don't want those items, put them back, and went to another store. And I bet that customer could make change without the till telling how much change was due.