Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Old Folks Didn't Have the "Green Thing"

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

He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, they returned their 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 they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator in every store and office building.

They walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she was right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have the throw-away kind.

They 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, they didn't have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they 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, not a screen the size of the state of Montana .

In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you.

When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right, they didn't have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water.

They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they 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 rode the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.

And they 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 the old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back then?

~Author Unknown~


  1. I read the first line and was about to scream BS from the rooftop, then I carried on reading.

    I often comment to my GF that living in Norway reminds me of the days I was a kid with my Nan. We used to do the bottles back then (70s), we even made sure the paper was re-used for many things and she always had a shopping bag for the trips to the supermarket.

    Until I came to live here I thought those days were gone, thankfully recycling is as prominent here as it was back in England in the 70s and earlier. Unfortunately the rest of the world seems to have indeed lost the plot.

    Blaming old people for the state of the world! If only! the world would be a far nicer place and probably a lot quieter than it is today.

  2. They were green as green gets. Great post :0)

  3. Um, but weren't they the generation that wanted more, more, more, too? Every generation before us is to blame just as much as we are. Constantly striving for faster and better and bigger and more. The human race just can't quite seem to SLOW DOWN and be content with the status quo. The Industrial Revolution, several worldwide wars, and The Baby Boomers are just as much to blame for the state of our world as we currently are. The holes in the ozone, oil in the oceans and pesticides in the soil didn't appear overnight!

    Sorry. I actually kind of like the message at the beginning, but this message has been forwarded around a lot and I've had plenty of time to get my back all riled up over it. ;)

  4. It's hard to know which old folks we're talking about here. Our need for 'green' is *because* of The Boomers. They gave away the dream, and now we of "X, Y, and i" are left to clean up and pay for their foolish ideas.

    So you felt the need to defend the WWII generation (and older) from the green movement? Really?