Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"The Green Thing" - Being Green from a Seniors Point of View

 From a recent email
 

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 mums 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 smart-ass young person. 
Remember: Don't make old people mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to tick us off

Author Unknown

5 comments:

Leah said...

I love it! My mother tells stories about her grandmother that made use of everything and didn't let anything go to waste. They lived without indoor plumbing and grew most of their own food...and never talked about "being green". Thanks for sharing!

Sabra said...

Love it! I am what is called an "old people's baby." My mother was in her early 40s when I was born and she had the mindset of conserve what you have. Growing up I always thought it was silly for her to not just buy new things. Well, as I grew up I realized that it was not sensible to be wasteful. She always says that they didn't have the 'green' thing back then, too but she taught me how to live green without even knowing! Being green is really just using your common sense (which there seems to be a large lack of, lol). Thanks for posting this! :)

Sandra Cobb said...

I'm in my late fifties now, and was born to my parents late in their lives. I remember all of the passing around my mom and her sisters did. Curtain, artwork, clothing, etc. I guess it was nice, but I really hated the hand-me-downs from my cousin mainly because they didn't fit right and we had totally different styles. Plus, we didn't NEED to use hand-me-downs, but frugal living was a priority. Thanks for the post... it actually made me greatful that I no longer have to wear those hand-me-downs!

Mike Golch said...

I enjoyed, and yes I do remember taking milk bottles and pop bottles back to the store.

Leslie said...

I'm so glad I dropped in and found this post. I wasn't an adult in the fifties or even born yet but find the cashiers behavior ridiculous. The one thing I can't stand is when ignorant people try to put others to shame, especially an older person. What a lack of respect there is these days.

Leslie
http://cookingmemoirs.blogspot.com/