IT’S THE “GREEN THING”.

'We're trying to discourage carrier bag use.'

‘We’re trying to discourage carrier bag use.’

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment.  The woman apologized to the young girl 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 for future generations.”

The older lady said that she was right — our generation didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in its day. The older lady went on to explain:

“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.”

She went on. “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 school books. 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 the clerk was right, the older lady thought,  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 our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers, sisters or cousins, not always brand-new clothing.”

“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 blade in a r azor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. 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 in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the”green thing.” 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 older folks were just because we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back then?

Please pass this information on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass 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!

'Glad to see folks like you using reusable shopping bags. We're saving a lot of trees! Here's your receipt.'

‘Glad to see folks like you using reusable shopping bags. We’re saving a lot of trees! Here’s your receipt.’

I don’t know who the original author was but I’ve read this before and I remember doing most of these things as a kid including hand washing clothes on a scrub board in my grandmother’s kitchen sink! I have observed that the generations that have followed mine, for the most part; are spoiled by technology & and have obviously not been educated enough by their parents or the public school systems to have learned the REAL ecological history of recycling in our country. Indeed, many had been indoctrinated into this particular propaganda by their former hippie parents & grandparents beginning in the late 1960s and on into the 1970s, I’m ashamed to say.

My advice to the younger generation would be to check out the environmental policies & existing conditions of other countries around the world ~or to travel to many, as I have done over the years. They should observe the environments first-hand paying particular attention to how filthy & filled with visible garbage & human waste many of those countries really are before disrespecting their elders by scolding them on environmental issues that they are obviously clueless about! ~ JGT

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