"The GREEN Thing"
Posted Friday, May 18, 2012 01:56 PM
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. 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 school books.  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.   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 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 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 burger 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-alecky, young person.  

We  don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to tick us  off.