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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Community Cafe - Archives / Being Green
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    Being Green

    Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:06 am
    Forum Host
    This was on Facebook today.

    Being Green

    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 young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f or 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 truely 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. 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 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.
    Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:43 pm Groupie
    I loved this when I read it. The granny forgot to say that when their clothes got holes they patched/sewed them.
    Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:44 pm Groupie
    I've seen this before but get a kick out of it every time I read it. My Gma also didn't use paper plates, paper napkins, paper towels or plastic trash can bags. Cooking debris (peelings, stems, cores, etc) were dumped on the garden for compost. NEVER was a partial load of laundry washed. The only lights on after dark would be the one in an occupied room. The clean back of envelopes were used for lists. Newspaper was used for many different tasks from wrapping garbage to washing windows. Shame on Gma for not being "green". icon_rolleyes.gif
    Leggy Peggy
    Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:56 pm Groupie
    Great reminder about what's really green behaviour.

    Even though green bags seem to have been around for ages, they only
    started in 2000 in Ireland. I bought one there in 2003 and still use it.
    Stella Mae
    Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:30 am Groupie
    I like this! I can remember my mother putting the milk bottles out for the milk man, and when new milk was delivered she'd pour the cream off the top to use in cooking. The brown paper bags are the best, though. I used them for garbage every day, and I always saved them to wrap boxes for mailing at Christmas time rather than spend money on rolls of brown paper.
    mums the word
    Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:43 am Groupie
    This is great! I feel guilty using paper plates so I don't do it. I only buy water bottles about twice a year so that we have them for car trips when we are on vacation. If I keep water bottles in the house, my lazy children think they can use them rather than go to the water pitcher in the fridge and pour a glass...morons!

    It makes me shudder to think of all the crap in the landfill sites.
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