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Old 03-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #1
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The Green Thing

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 earlier days."

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 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 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 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 smartazz young person.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:55 PM   #2
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It is really quite amazing isn't it. I think they are taught that in school now.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:57 AM   #3
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I did a Google search on "She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day." and found a ton of hits.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:25 AM   #4
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I guess I don't get it. 50 years ago we didn't live in an extravagant world of abundance. It wasn't possible then. However, we ALL live that way today. Are you ready to turn off the heat, turn off the air conditioning, have just one tv, no computer, stop riding your electric wheel chair, and start riding a bike?

Everyone realizes that the plastic bottles and bags we throw out every day will be on this earth thousands of years after we are gone. The only solution that seems to work for bags is the one they use in much of Europe. If you need a bag at the grocery store you have to buy it. That way you remember to bring one from home!
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:10 AM   #5
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Wow, nice to see an ecological themed post! As i read threads on here, I see lots of people almost 'bragging' about never using their kitchen for washing dishes, they use disposable plastic plates, cups, and flatware. Not my idea of low impact camping.

Having worked in a 'mom and pop' grocery store growing up, I know the labor and sticky mess of having to sort and get bottles ready for recycling. Even though it was a nasty job, it saved resources. I know short time economics makes it too expensive to do this today, but I too miss the 'old days.'
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegascouple View Post
I guess I don't get it. 50 years ago we didn't live in an extravagant world of abundance. It wasn't possible then. However, we ALL live that way today. Are you ready to turn off the heat, turn off the air conditioning, have just one tv, no computer, stop riding your electric wheel chair, and start riding a bike?

Everyone realizes that the plastic bottles and bags we throw out every day will be on this earth thousands of years after we are gone. The only solution that seems to work for bags is the one they use in much of Europe. If you need a bag at the grocery store you have to buy it. That way you remember to bring one from home!
Whooosh!

I think that's the sound of a point going right over someone's head.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:55 PM   #7
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I hauled garbage for a short time out of the City of Vancouver B.C. The trailers were usually loaded and we would haul them a couple hundred miles to the dump. The odd time we would have to wait to get loaded and I would peer into the transfer station where the city trucks dumped. I would not guess at the percentage of diapers in the garbage pile but it is right up there.
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