The Environment...

July 2011, Warren Matthews

Summary

A customer of ours was kind enough to send me the following. I think it is doing the rounds on the internet at the moment so you may have already had it…but, in case you haven’t I thought I would pass it on as it is so true. Unfortunately many of the younger people have not experienced some of the things that are raised…

A customer of ours was kind enough to send me the following. I think it is doing the rounds on the internet at the moment so you may have already had it…but, in case you haven’t I thought I would pass it on as it is so true.

Unfortunately many of the younger people have not experienced some of the things that are raised…but, I remember every part of it, including the time before TV was invented when we would as a family sit around the radio listening to our favourite comedy show.

It really is quite fascinating how much things have changed in such a relatively short time. Hope you enjoy it. Sorry I can’t give credit to the author as I do not know who it was:

The Green Thing, New Idea??

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags 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. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

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.

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 the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old 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 a wadded up old newspaper 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 pizza 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?

8 Comments

  • “And we washed plastic bag from store to be used over and over, and we washed our clothes by hands. Thank you, Warren.”

    Anna Casto - July 21 2011

  • “Sounds a little whiny to me.”

    Steve Taylor - July 22 2011

  • “Why did you delete all our comments ? Katja”

    Katja - July 22 2011

  • “Beautiful – I saved it ! And we brought the nylons to get the runs repaired; we put cold wet washcloths to our children’s calves to bring down a fever, instead of giving them horrible pills; we traded potato peels for kindling wood (at least in Germany after the war) instead of buying mashed potatoes out of a box; we gave food leftovers to farmers to feed the pigs with instead of giving them hormones and GMO’s; we came together as groups on many occasions, singing instead of havin i-Pod buds in our ears and let others sing to us; we were playing games in the park , bonding as friends, insteadof playing stupid, anonymous games on the internet; we were TALKING and TOUCHING instead of texting and sexting . Oh, the good old NON-GREEN days ! Katja ”

    Katja - July 22 2011

  • “Hi Katja, Looking at our system it doesn’t appear we have removed any comments from this post, if yours didn’t show up please re-submit them as we welcome comments and feedback about our blog. ”

    Warren Matthews - July 22 2011

  • “And we didn’t use styrofoam boxes for take out or take home because most people at at home, we grew most of our own vegetables, hung our laundry out to dry, washed & dried our dishes in a sink, picked up trash dumped on the street by others, rang a bell to have kids come home for a meal rather than all the cell phones, Ipads, Iphones. Held a book in our hands instead of a Kindle. We were green before Green became a fad of the environmentalists & the Gore followers on global warming. And we who grew up in the 50’s & 60’s and lived the GREEN Concept know we can trust & believe what Al Gore says because he invented the internet he told us so. ”

    Marcia Jenn - July 22 2011

  • “There’s a tiny Asian market a few blocks from my house. When I go shopping there, I always bring my own canvas bag with me, but the clerk refuses to use it and always gives me an extra plastic bag. She told me that back in (Vietnam?), they didn’t have the luxury of plastic bags, and everyone brought their own reusable one. Now that she’s here in the U.S.A., she’s happy to not have to worry about bringing along her own bag, she likes the convenience of getting one from the store. Similarly, when I visited my relatives in Latvia, I made some comment about farmers not using chemicals on their land. "No," my cousin replied, "we can’t afford them."”

    Celeste - July 27 2011

  • “Yes, the above went around the world and originated in the UK. We did the same things here in Amercia and more so during WW2 because we had to live frugaly.WHY? Because we needed to feed our men and woman in the Armed Services. We had food stamps and gasoline was rationed, we had Victory gardens and every plot of open land in New York City was a vegetable garden. As childern we were told to look for aluminium, most came off thrown away cigarette packages. The aluminum was collected and used for the war effort. Women didn’t have nylon stocking because the Airforce needed it to make parachutes. All people came together in UNITY to serve the war effort.Spam was invented and lard with a vial of orange coloring was mixed together to take the place of butter. We didn’t have TV, we listened to the radio, as a family, the childern played games out doors with each other, jacks, potsy, ring a’ lario, jump rope , stoop ball and in the hot NYC summer, run under the water from the fire hydrants. We didn’t have fast food and their were very few obese people. The NOW generation doesn’t know what to do with themselves if they don’t have something to look at, TV, IPods, Cell phnes etc. Heck, we were doing GREEN , long before these whipper snappers came up with the idea about " the green thing". There wouldn’t be any " green thing" today, if we didn’t do all the above! Another thing, childern didn’t ask for something they saw on TV or because their friend had it, they EARNED it by getting good grades and maybe at Christmas time it would be under the tree.”

    Margaret - July 22 2011

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