Being Green

English: This is a paper bag from Victory Supe...

English: This is a paper bag from Victory Supermarkets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Saw this on FB 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.

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

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5 thoughts on “Being Green

  1. Being Green

    Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much 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. Corporations without environmental ethics or humanitarian ethics were established in your generation. Their abuse of our planet and people made it obvious that those corporations did not care about future generations then. But you bought their stuff and that made them more powerful and destructive.

    Many of those companies and many new companies from my generation still don’t care, but most of us still keep buying their products, therefore endorsing their ethos, and that has allowed them to become even more ruthless, heartless and destructive to people and other life forms.”

    She was right — our generation didn’t have a commitment to the ‘green thing’ in our 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. When the companies offered gave us single serving containers, we did not object or protest or boycott, we bought into it, just as you have.

    We didn’t protect 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. When the companies offered gave us flimsy plastic bags that would only be useful once or twice, we did not object, we bought into it, just as the current generation has.

    Too bad we didn’t defend the “green thing” back then.

    We walked up stairs. When the companies put in escalator in every store and office building, we didn’t say anything, nor have you. We walked to the grocery store. When the companies advertised flashy 300-horsepower machines, we did not protest, we took out a loan to buy one just like you do today, and use them to go two blocks, just like you do. After all, when you are paying payments on those rapidly depreciating beasts, we gotta use it, right? Even if it is only two blocks.

    She was right, we didn’t stand up for the “green thing” in our day.

    Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers. When the companies offered the throwaway kind, we bought them right away, just like you youngsters do. We dried clothes on a line. When the companies pitched the energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts to us, well, just had to have that too. I mean, we had already sold out anyway. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days, and, hmmm, I think they still can. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters. When the companies shipped their clothing manufacturing overseas to be made by cheap labor and very polluting companies, we stopped fixing the holes in our clothes and just bought brand-new clothing, just like you kiddies do.

    That young lady is right, we didn’t understand the “green thing” was important in our day.

    Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house. When the companies made them cheaper, we put a TV in every room, just like you whipper snappers today. The TV used to have a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?). When the companies said bigger is better, so just like you, we got the one’s with 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. Then we bought the companies power appliances. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it. When the companies said buy Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap instead, we did, and you pip squeaks do too. We used a push mower that ran on human power. When the companies said fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn, we did, you weaklings do it too. Back then, we exercised by working. When the companies said we needed a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity, we did, so why wouldn’t you.

    She’s right, we didn’t honor the “green thing” back then.

    We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty. When the companies said use a throw away cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water, we were already corporate addicts, so why not, so you may be imitating us. We refilled writing pens with ink. When the companies said buy new pens every time, we said sure thing. We replaced the razor blades in a razor. When the companies said throw away the whole razor just because the blade got dull, we loved it, and now you love it with us.

    We didn’t reward the “green thing” companies back then.

    Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked. When the companies starting saying the “new real moms are 24-hour taxi service in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house”, we know why you take the bait. We would if we were you. We had one electrical outlet in a room. When the companies offered an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances, we cheered, just like you do. When the companies said we should 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, we said that’s stupid, we said we hate computers. So you’ll never see us using one, but if you use one to help us find a store, we won’t pee our pants.

    Isn’t it sad the current generation laments how we old folks didn’t have a “green” bone in our back then to stop the companies, yet they have shown no “green” bone in their own back?

    Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person…

    We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off… especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can’t make change without the cash register telling them how much… and who won’t be able to get us out of this mess that we helped got them into, because it is probably too hard and too late for your green thing to stop those big companies from destroying everything, right? Yeah, just give up and party like it 1969. XOEarth.org

  2. Pingback: Being Green- It’s Been Around Longer Than We Think | THE JEENYUS CORNER « The Jeenyus Corner

  3. Those same folks who did all the things that make sense for our planet back then, also were part of the generation who created plastic, built gas guzzling SUVs, started factory farms and initiated our toxic dependence on oil. It was not the “good old days”. Back then when they returned their milk bottles it was also a world where racism, sexism, and homophobia were part of life.

    There needs to be accountability by every generation for their actions, rather than smudging out the dark spots in history. Only by acknowledging where they both succeeded AND failed will they set an example for the generations that follow.

    • Just hope that the “new world order” that you seem to want, does not enslave you and reduce our great nation to that of a third world country. Those on the fringe of your movement are anti-people and don’t care what harm is done to them as long as the “bog turtle” is not harmed. My caring is centered on what is best for each and every citizen.

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