The Green Thing

The
Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should

bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the
environment.

The woman apologized to her and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing

back in my day.”

The
clerk responded, “That’s our problem today.  Your generation did
not care enough to save our environment.”

 

 

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 the clothes.  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 a wadded up

old newspaper 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 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 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 smartass young person.

The

Green Thing

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