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?