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The Green Thing

Perceptions, History, Environment

I received this over the Internet from a friend. I don't usually do this, but in this instance I couldn't resist. I have nothing to add by way of comment, except to assure you-all that it's all true and it predates the 50's. Also, I think things had already begun to change in the 70's. I know, because I am a contemporary of the "older woman."

 The Green Thing 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."

He was right, that generation didn't have "the green thing" in its day. It was called "reality" in those "olden" conservation days of the 50's, 60's and 70's

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 the 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 throwaway kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts of electric power. 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 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 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.

For entertainment they talked, read books or played games. Sometimes they listened to the radio. They didn't have a PC with a Pentium Northstar and 100 GB of disk to run game disks. No plug-in Nintendo or X-Boxes either.

When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam peanuts or plastic bubble wrap. Brown grocery bags were saved. The brown wrapping to mail a package was the backside of the paper bags used to bring home the groceries. The brown bag paper bag had other uses. It was used as construction paper and other needs. Hardly anyone purchased "brown paper"

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 or a glass when they were thirsty instead of using a paper 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, walked or rode the school bus (rural only) 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.

Most people did not have air conditioning in houses, offices, or cars. Millions of kilowatts saved.

But she's right, they didn't have "the green thing" back then, but they used less energy and went through less raw materials than the green thinking people will ever do.

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?


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