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The Green Thing

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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.”

He 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? 

Please  forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in  conservation from a smarta** young person.

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The Green Thing, 86% based on 14 ratings

2 comments to The Green Thing

  • Puni Mikaele

    What a great response to a young stud who thinks he kows everything. The old genetrations uses muscles that God provided in stead of man-made machines that polluted the environment.

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  • Charles


    REAL FACT. I agree with you,” where are those happy days??? it seems so hard to find????.”

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