In Regards To Being Green


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I received an email the other day and found it very interesting. It’s a conversation between two women and recycling in the old days. I am not sure of the author but it’s a good read. I hope you enjoy it and I would love to hear your thoughts.

Think Green

This is an interesting point of view.

How Wasteful the Older Generation Was …

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.”

She was right; her 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 her 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


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 styra-foam 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?


6 comments on “In Regards To Being Green

  1. Sorry, but the old lady was right. I’ll assume that she is about 70-80 years old and therefore born or raised in the 1950’s in the USA, and that would make her correct.
    Up until the 1950’s, what you described above, yes, that was common place. But the ’50’s was when disposable diapers, bottle feeding instead of breast feeding, plastic everything, drive everywhere, convenience foods, and permed, colored, hairsprayed hair began to take over. Ask anyone born around that time and they will tell you so.
    Follow the history of plastics and you will see it. Sure, before then, you brought your own bags to the grocery store, but once the 1950’s hit, people began to bring home groceries in paper then plastic bags that would later be thrown away without a thought. Only in other countries did this not occur.


  2. My great grandmother had a drawer full of bread bags, rubber bands and twist ties that she saved and reused over and over again. She wouldn’t have dreamt of throwing them away!


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