Make you Fink on Friday

This is reblogged from: expertofnone

It’s a fantastic piece, as in fact most of her posts are, don’t be shy about heading over there to see.

Certainly makes you think.

“We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days”…

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much 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 young 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.

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 schoolbooks. 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 on the brown paper bags.

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 day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway 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 moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the “green thing.” 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 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it just sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back then?

We didn’t have “green things” in my day

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Josta, The Netherlands on September 21, 2012 at 4:13 am

    This is so true! And I am from the ‘now’ generation and not from ‘back then’. It’s US!!



  2. I’ve seen a Swedish version of this about a year ago on Facebook and it acctually made me quite upset, perhaps I took it the wrong way but it felt at least then that the text created more an argument between generations than inspired to work for a better world togheter. I can appreciate that it is not the older generation’s fault things changed, it’s the whole system that changed because of different economic and social pressures but neither should that be used as an argument to not be or not try to be environmentally freindly now, no matter how old or young you are. I agree with Josta it’s “us” we are in this togheter and we need to work for it togheter and it might be sad that some things changed but then we should use the knowedge the older generation have about recycling for example and work to change things again to something even better.

    And I hope that the statement about a younger generation thinking this about the older one is not true, and if it is yes I guess it’s sad but then it’s time to get up, move on and prove them wrong.



    • >Cat, I would have to say that it was the older generation that mooted the changes and the younger have abused them. Most of what I see around the net is the younger generation blames the older and it is sad. I agree that the whole paradigm needs to shift, if it doesn’t the situation will only get worse. Until governments can be woken up and divorce themselves from the corporations and return to representing the ‘people,’ that will never happen.

      Thanks for the comment, all views appreciated.




  3. Posted by Alex Jones on October 24, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    It is well said that the real throw-away society is today, and that this mentality gets worse with each passing year.



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