Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Green Thing

I just received this in an email and I was so taken by it I thought I would reproduce it here.

This is an interesting perspective on today’s “Green” concern for the environment....

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that 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.”

That’s right, they didn’t have the "green thing" in her day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soft drink bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, using 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’s 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 – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.  And clothes were recycled:  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 pizza dish, 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 wadded up newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.  She's right, though; they didn't have the green thing back in her day.

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 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 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.

It’s a crying shame that we didn’t have “the green thing” back then!


  1. So true so true. It's a sad world.
    Not for children though......I missed out on the mines and chimneys.

  2. Great post John.
    Progress isn't always for the good.

  3. This is so true John, we didn`t have the green thing back then, because we didn`t live in a society where everything has to be pristine and we throw something away the minute it looks a bit worn! I saw some friends at the weekend who are expecting a baby and when I had the audacity to say that they could save money by using hand-me downs from there brother I was looked at with contempt!
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  4. It is certainly a different world Adrian. I don't think there will be many children turning the handle on the mangle while mother feeds the sheets through the rollers, as I had to.

  5. Not always Keith. Too many these days count happiness as keeping materially ahead of the Jones family next door.

  6. How true John. When we had to scrimp, save and wait until we could afford things then we made them last. Easy credit has finally caught up with the materialistic world. I used to be just as bad when I was working but after having to take early retirement if I couldn't afford something I did without.
    Bank lending has changed so much over the years. I remember when one had to ask the bank branch manager for the smallest of loans. I wanted about £40 for a lens for my camera and was told to tighten my belt and save up for it. Can you imagine that happening now?

  7. Yeah ... bring back the old days.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

Related Posts with Thumbnails