We didn’t have this green thing back then

I don’t know where this originated but it really got me thinking.  Sort of comes from a time when as a country our biggest and best companies didn’t just sell other people’s stuff…we made it ourselves.
Checking out at the  store, the young cashier suggested  to me the other day, that I should bring my own grocery  bags  because plastic bags  weren’t good for the environment.

I 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

She was right —  our  generation, those over say 40 or so,  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.

Grocery stores bagged our  groceries in brown  paper bags, that  we reused
for numerous things, most memorable  besides household garbage
bags, was the use  of brown paper bags as  book covers for
our school books. This was to ensure  that public property, (the books
provided for our use by the  school) was not defaced by our scribblings.
Then we were able to  personalize our books. But too bad we didn’t do
the  green thing back then.

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

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  razor we replaced the  razor blades in a 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 burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we older folks were just because  we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Remember this when you encounter one of those selfish older people who needs a lesson in conservation.

We don’t like being older in the first  place, so it doesn’t take much to irritate us.  Oh yeah…it’s fun to go to fast food joint and ask for hamburger and they ask if you want cheese.  Wow!  A hamburger with cheese on it?  How cool is that?  Didn’t we used t have cheeseburgers back then?
I wonder how advanced a society we would be today if we built on the lessons learned from the prior generations?